Great Falls High nips Butte High girls, 2-1

The Butte High girls experienced heartbreak Thursday, having two goals waved off in a 2-1 loss to Great Falls High in the Bulldog team’s last home soccer game of the season.
The Eastern AA Conference match was held at the Jeremy Bullock Memorial Soccer Fields and was Senior Parents Day.
Quinn Mora scored Great Falls’ winning goal on an assist from Amanda Williams in the 38th minute to keep Butte High winless this fall.
“The offsides killed us,” Butte High head coach Kevin Petritz said. “We had two goals taken away by offsides. Defensively, a couple kicks from out of the back killed us. So, out of about 30 minutes of play, two mistakes killed us.”
The Bulldogs held the early 1-0 lead as senior Mijah McLeod poked in a shot on a sliding kick after the ball had bounced out of the grasp of the Great Falls High goalkeeper. The goalie had just attempted to field a rocket shot from another Butte High player. McLeod was seated while sliding when she booted the ball through. She collided with the Bison goalie, who suffered an injury on the play and did not return to the game.
The score in the 27th minute was answered about five minutes later by Great Falls’ Keegan Swanson on an unassisted goal. She kicked it in left-footed from right out front, stroking it just past the right-side reach of the Butte HIgh ‘keeper.
The 1-1 tie stayed until halftime.
Most of the half had been played in front of the Bison goal as Butte High fired two shots that were foiled in goal. The Great Falls keeper deflected one try and caught another. McLeod then, in the 21st minute, looked to have scored from the left side. However, an offsides negated the point.
“Mijah made a great goal — two really, but one got called back,” Petritz lamented. “She had a great assist, too, to Marti (Ludwick), but it was called back.
“The girls were doing things right, the things we’ve been working on. We had a good first half and I thought we answered halftime really well. But give Great Falls credit. They hung in there and weathered our storm.”
The Bison’s last goal, by Mora, was described as a “great one” by Petritz.
“It went through Ally Cleverly’s legs and hit the inside of the post, then into the back of the net to score.”
Butte High pressured the Bison goal on a flurry in the second half, but the new Great Falls goalie turned away two shots, including a slide for a stop on a shot taken in the 12th minute. Butte High kept up on defense. The Bulldogs clicked for a good attempt in the 33rd minute, a pass from McLeod charging to the net from the left side, across the goal to Ludwick angling from the right. The shot hit the back of the net, but was waved off by the referee on an offsides call.
It seemed to frustrate the Bulldogs. The Mora goal five minutes later sent a surge of urgency through the Butte HIgh camp.
“I thought we responded well after their second goal,” Petritz said. “I keep telling the girls that if we keep doing good things, I’m promising good things will happen. It’s been making a liar out of me.”
It was the second close loss Bulldogs suffered to the Bison this year.
The Butte High seniors who played their last match on the Bullock pitch Thursday are Becca Schnabel, Karly Okrusch, Jessica Rosa, Ali Gonzales, Caitlin Lee, McLeod, Hailey Jaksha, Hunter Fisk, Kaileigh Shutey, Mackenzie Collins and Marki Dauenhauer.
The Bulldogs, 0-8 this season, will go to Great Falls on Saturday for a 1 p.m. match against C.M. Russell High School.

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