Butte High’s boys’ soccer team didn’t win Saturday at a rainy Jeremy Bullock Complex.
The Bulldogs fell 2-0 to Great Falls Russell in an Eastern AA game. Bulldog coach Eric Zahler, though, and a definitive statement to make about his team.
“I think we’re a pretty good team,” the coach said after his team fell to 0-2. “That’s a back-and-forth game. Each team looked equally dangerous at times. They just finished their opportunities, and we didn’t.”
Aaron Parker scored both goals, with one coming on a penalty kick. His first goal, the PK, came with 25:58 left on the clock in the second quarter. His second one came with 25:30 left in the game when Parker got a rebound and skipped the ball in off the post.
“You have to contain a kid like that,” Zahler said. “W’re not the fastest team in the state, and we have to make sure we give a little more depth to keep the speed in front of us. You keep him in front of you. You let him behind you and you’re in trouble.”
Still, Zahler saw so much more good from his team that got a standing ovation from its fans after the solid effort.
Sophomore goal keeper Erik Rosa held up well in the loss.
“This is his second varsity start, and he’s getting better every day,” Zahler said. “He’s going to be great. He’s good now; he’s going to be great.”
Brock Powell, a 6-foot-3 midfielder, helped keep the Bulldogs on the attack much of the game.
“When you get a big boy like that who can run in the middle of the field with these little kids, that’s awesome to watch,” Zahler said. “He’s got such a great touch and a high IQ. He just creates for us in the middle of the field.”
The soccer smart description fits the entire team, Zahler said.
“That’s the beauty of our team, they’re all smart,” the coach said. “They are high-IQ guys, guys that love the game, study the game, live the game.
“We’re combining six, seven, eight passes in the row, moving the ball up the field and create a shot opportunity,” he said. “In the past you’d see us throw one over the top and run on to it.”
Zahler praised the play of Nick Werkmeister off the bench, as well as the play of Zach Archibald, Trevyn Roth, Andrew Howerey and Shaun Villa, among others.
“I could talk about every single one of them,” Zahler said. “They all did a fantastic job. CMR is coming off a State tournament.”
The Bulldogs play at home Friday against Billings Skyview. They’ll head to Billings West on Saturday.