BILLINGS — Butte High’s soccer season came to an end Friday with Class AA playoff losses to Billings West.
The Golden Bears won the girls’ match 2-0. West beat Butte High’s boys 3-0. The losses come two days after Butte High’s teams each won matches at Great Falls High to advance.
In the girls’ game, both goals came in the final 20 minutes of the match.
“We went as offensive as we could for the last 15 (minutes) but West held their composer,” Butte High girls’ coach Riley McNabb said.
McNabb pointed out that the Bulldogs scored 15 goals on the season. That is the second-most in school history, behind only the 17 scored by the 1995 team. That was when Class AA and Class A played together, the coach said.
The came closes the prep soccer career for seniors Lexie Kautzman, Ally Cleverly, Aspen Lovshin, Justise Birkenbuel, Patyon Carver, Jordyn LaPier, Marti Ludwick, Jordyn Bennett and Brynlee Nielsen.
“This team was amazing, and I owe them a big thank you for allowing me to be a part of it,” McNabb said at the end of his second season at the helm. “I’m going to really miss this senior class. They continually raised expectations throughout the year, and set the bar high for future soccer teams. But we have a really good group of underclassmen, and I’m excited to see what they do next.”
McNabb also extended thanks to the parents of the players, school administrators, his assistant coaches Jake Steilman, Chris Bestgen and Maddie Vincent, and his trainer Christine Mayer.
On the boys’ side, Bulldog coach Erik Roth said it was a day of missed opportunities.
“We had chances and couldn’t capitalize,” the coach said. “West definitely had a home field advantage. That being said, the boys played for 80 minutes. They left it all on the field. At the end of the game, my seniors were completely spent.”
Abe Shaw, Russell Parke, Trevyn Roth, Justin McNabb, Jake Vetter and Khalil Ahmed are the seniors on the Butte High roster.
“The underclassmen sacrificed their health and wellness to give their seniors one more game,” coach Roth said. “It just wasn’t enough. We got beat by a better team, but we did not lose. Losers quit and stop trying. These young men came so far and they finished together. What they accomplished transcends the soccer pitch. Their work ethic will make them successful in anything they chose and it was an honor to coach them this season. Winning is measured by so much more than just wins and losses.”