Preseason feel for Bulldog girls

Friday night’s Purple and White girls’ soccer game was kind of like a preseason football game for Butte High.

At least that’s the way second-year head coach Sean Cleverly put it.

Cleverly took out his four senior leaders — Natalie Faupel, Katie Bennett, Emily Cleverly and Ali Dean — early in front of a sizeable crowd on the field to the south of Butte High School.

Each played about 12 minutes of each half.

“This is like Aaron Rodgers coming in and throwing three passes and jogging off the field,” coach Cleverly said. “Everybody in the crowd gets to say ‘I saw Aaron Rodgers play. I saw Natalie Faupel play soccer … for about 12 minutes.”

Technically, the purple team won 1-0. That, though, was a bad thing.

The only goal of the game was an accident.

“That’s a self goal,” Cleverly said of a white player misfiring on a header to score a goal for the purple. “That’s a terrible thing to have happen.”

The rest of the night, though, Cleverly called a positive.

“We saw a lot of really good stuff,” he said.

In their short time on the field, the coach said Faupel, Bennett, Cleverly and Ali Dean looked good.

“We saw some great things from our keepers, too,” coach Cleverly said. “Taylor Lovell is are returning starter as a senior and she played well.”

The coach also cited the play of sophomore goal keeper Maria Michelotti and classmate Justyce Connole.

“We have 34 kids out,” Cleverly said. “That’s big numbers for girls’ soccer. Hopefully it means were doing something good, and maybe it will transfer to some success.”

Butte High opens the season Aug. 30 at home against Great Falls High.