CMR girls ‘finish’ in win over Butte High

By Bill Foley

The difference in play between the Butte High and Great Falls Russell girls’ soccer teams was hardly noticeable Thursday afternoon.

But it sure made a big difference on the scoreboard.

Four different Rustler scored goals at the Jeremy Bullock Complex, and the Rustlers knocked off Butte High 4-0 in an Eastern AA match.

“Finish was the name of the game,” Butte High coach Kevin Petritz said. “If you finish the ball like that, you’re going to get lopsided scores. We didn’t finish.”

Butte High trailed 1-0 at halftime. The lone CMR goal of the first 40 minutes came when Emily Funseth knocked the ball into the net in the 16th minute.

Thanks to some big saves Butte goalkeeper Allison Collins and some aggressive offensive play by the Bulldogs, the scoreboard stayed there for the next 36 minutes.

Butte High’s Marti Ludwick got behind the CMR defense for a pair of shots in the first half. Teamamte Ally Cleverly just missed a shot that sailed high.

“It was a pretty evenly-matched game,” Petritz said. “I think our attacks in the first half were really dangers. I think some of our attacks in the second half were really dangerous. The biggest difference was they put four in the back of the net.

“We might have had an advantage on our corner kicks,” the coach said. “All four balls on our corners were perfectly into the box where they needed to be, and we just couldn’t finish.”

Petritz said he was happy with the play of his Bulldogs.

“It wasn’t due to a lack of effort,” he said. “It wasn’t due to a lack of getting up into the attack and finding opportunities. We just could not finish the ball. We controlled the ball in the second half, and we had opportunities in the second half.”

Kelsey Hogan knocked in a free kick in the 52nd minute to make it 2-0 before Kaelyn Frahm scored off a Funseth assist in the 59th minute. Aspen Lucero added a goal in the 79th minute.

Butte High had to really go on the offensive in the second half in a risky attempt at rolling in some goals.

Petritz said that move helped turn a close game into a four-goal defeat.

“I was forced push a lot of people forward,” Petritz said. “If I had kept the same starters in the same lineup, it might have ended 1-0, it might have ended 2-0, it might have ended 1-1. But I decided to go for it and take a chance.”

Butte High’s girls, who fell to 0-9-1 overall and 0-7-1 in conference, will head to Great Falls High on Saturday.