MISSOULA — Missoula Sentinel’s boys’ soccer team did not need a lot of help as the Spartans took on Butte High in the first round of the Class AA playoffs Wednesday afternoon.
The Spartans, though, got some big-time aid in the form of the wind. Sentinel scored on a penalty kick before the gusting wind blew the ball into the net to get the scoring started, and Sentinel beat Butte High 6-0.
“We knew that we would need to play a near perfect game to beat the Spartans,” Bulldog coach Cody Carpenter said. “Unfortunately, the ball did not bounce the Bulldog’s way today.”
Alex Levchenko’s hat trick paced the Spartans (10-3-2), who beat Butte High (3-12) for the third time this season.
“Our game plan for today was to play very defensive in the first half in hopes for a scoreless tie,” Carpenter said.
Instead, the Spartans jumped out to a 5-0 advantage by halftime.
“We had a few more small mistakes that led to three more goals and we could never recover,” Carpenter said. “I challenged the team to win the second half for our nine seniors. Our team fought hard to the very end and I am proud of the hustle, especially in the second half. We had numerous chances to score throughout the game but could never find the net. We had some great moments of teamwork.”
The game closed the book on the Bulldog soccer careers for seniors Kyler Kukay, Colton Case, Anthony Liva, Moosie Henningsen, James Dare, Levi McMahon, Carson Barry, Kale Anzik and Isen Padbury.
“Our seniors played so hard and there were lots of hugs and tears after the game because our soccer family saw the season conclude,” Carpenter said. “However, after a good dinner, they are singing again on our ride home.”