Slow start dooms Bulldog girls

Butte High’s girls’ soccer team is getting pretty good at finishing games.

The Bulldogs, though, have had trouble starting them. That problem bit the Bulldogs again Friday evening as the team gave up two early goals and dropped a 2-0 Eastern AA decision to Billings West at the Jeremy Bullock Complex.

“I talked to my captains yesterday and I told them we need to get through the first 15 minutes of the game,” Bulldog coach Kevin Petritz said, referring to captains Maria Michelotti, Becca Schnable, Allison Bennet and Jessica Rosa. “We’ve still got work to do.”

Madison Marlenee scored seven minutes into the match before Kayla Marker scored off a double assist in the 14th minute. Lauren Cornwall and Amy Link had the assist.

“After that we settled down,” Petritz said. “We got some opportunities. We never got any shots off, but we got behind.”

Butte High was on the attack in the second half, especially late in the match when the team fought spiritedly until the final whistle.

“The positives that came out of this are the girls found a new form of intensity,” Petritz said. “It would be very easy for this team to give up on the season, going 0-5. But we left this game on a positive. We’ve just got to get better on our touches.”

Petritz had plenty of praise for plenty of his players.

“Ali Bennet in the back played really well,” the coach said. “That’s one of the better games that I saw her play in her career. Freshman Allison Collins continues to get better, and sophomore Camile McEwen played unbelievable.  She moved into a new position halfway into the game and played really well.”

The Bulldogs will get another chance to break out of the starter blocks on Saturday. They take on Billings Senior at 1 p.m. in Billings.

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