Butte High girls move on with dramatic win

Butte High girls move on with dramatic win

GREAT FALLS — This time there was no tie.

Ally Cleverly scored off a Justise Birkenbuel assist with 2 minutes left Wednesday, and Butte High knocked off Great Falls High 2-1 in an Eastern AA girls’ soccer match at Memorial Stadium.

The win, which is the first for the Bulldogs (1-8-4) of the season, sends Butte High to Billings on Friday to take on West High. The winner of that match heads to the Class AA State tournament.

Butte High had tied Great Falls High twice on the season.

“Everyone had a good game today,” Butte High coach Riley McNabb said. “It was a whole team win today.”

Great Falls took an early lead when Macie McElheney found the back of the net for a 1-0 advantage.

Butte High scored both its goals in the second half.

“We had a fairly slow start unfortunately, but after half time the girls responded well,” McNabb said. “We completely owned the second half keep in the ball on Great Falls side for a majority of the half.”

Christiana Beierle tied the game about 20 minutes into the second half. Cleverly hit a corner kick that bounded around before Beierle knocked it in.

A big save by goalkeeper Haley Herron kept it tied after the equalizer.

“We continued to press well until there was about 10 minutes left when Great Falls got a break away,” McNabb said. “Haley Herron came out and had the biggest save of the game, potentially ever for Butte High girls soccer. A few minutes later she made another great save coming out on a corner and punching the ball out of a crowded 18.”

Birkenbuel played the ball to Cleverly, beat a Great Falls defender and keeper for the game winner.

“Great Falls pressed the last 2 minutes of the game, but we held our composer well,” McNabb said.

Great Falls High coach Kevin Petritz, a Butte native and former Bulldog girls’ coach, praised his former team.

“Great Falls High didn’t lose tonight. Butte High won,” Petritz said. “That team made the City of Butte proud tonight. Those girls are something special.”

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