The Bozeman Hawks are good at soccer. They’re also pretty good at playing keep away.
The Hawks dominated possession Tuesday and turned back Butte High 3-0 in a Class AA soccer match at the Jeremy Bullock Complex.
“That’s one of the best possession teams in the state,” Butte High coach Eric Zahler said. ” They move it well and they play fast.”
The Hawks, led by former Butte High coach Hunter Terry, came to town with ball control as the game plan.
“I would give a lot of credit to our defense,” Terry said. ” As soon as we lost it, we were pretty eager to get it back. One of our philosophies is give them little time on the ball so we can have the ball more.”
The Hawks (3-1) led 1-0 at halftime thanks to a goal by Kyle Vanderwall. Ben Goertzen broke the game open with two goals in the second half.
“Defensively we were strong. We were solid,” Zahler said. “They’re a fast offense. They slid a ball through, and they got behind our defense a couple times. That’s how you score goals. Actually, only the one time they got behind our defense once. The other two were trick plays. They scored on two corner kicks, and one of them we practice here. We got beat on one of our own corner kicks.”
Zahler said he was happy with the play of his defense, which was put to the test because Bozeman basically eliminated Butte High’s offense.
“We were tough to score on today,” Zahler said. “It’s not a bad day.”
The Butte coach praised the play of defender Jonathan Sholey.
“Sholey is kind of our lifeline back there,” Zahler said. “He keeps the defense well organized. Noah Loomis had a great day in the center mid.”
Butte High played junior Noah Johnston at goal keep. Jacob Williams as was moved from keeper to the field because the Bulldogs are short handed with injuries. Cullen Sehulster had surgery on a broken hand on Tuesday and will miss at least a couple weeks.
The coach said his goal keeper was solid.
Butte High (1-3-1) gets a few days to rest injuries and practice before taking on Billings Senior at 7 p.m. Saturday at Bulldog Memorial Stadium.
“We’ve just got to get better,” Zahler said. “We’ve got to get faster and we’ve got to work harder in practice.”