Tired Bulldog soccer teams fall at Billings West

BILLINGS — Playing in their second games in less than 24 hours, the Butte High soccer teams each dropped a game to Billings West Saturday.

The Butte High girls fell 3-0, while the Bulldog boys lost 3-2.

A pair of quick second-half goals were the difference in the boys’ match.

Alex Michaelson and Alden Cheney scored a minute apart early in the second half to turn Butte High’s 2-0 halftime lead into a deficit.

“Two little breakdowns and they were able to take advantage of both of them,” Butte High coach Eric Zahler said.

After Cody Gagnon scored off a Michaelson assist six minutes into the game, Shaun Villa answered with a pair of goals for the Bulldogs. Villa scored off assists from Zach Archibald and Trevyn Roth.

Butte High appeared to tie the game in the last seconds when Brock Powell scored on a corner kick.

The goal, however, was waved off when Butte High was called for a hand ball. Then the official blew the whistle signaling the game was over.

“It’s hard to watch the ball hit the back of the net, just to be taken out on a call like that,” Zahler said of the goal that didn’t count. “I didn’t see it (the hands ball), but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.”

After falling behind, Zahler said he rested some of his starters because they had tired legs. With 10 minutes left, the Bulldogs went back to full strength and tried to tie the game.

“The kids came off the bench and did a great job keeping us in the game,” Zahler said. “As a team they knew they had to pick it up and play better (than Friday). They did that, and they did that on tired legs.”

Stats aren’t available from the girls’ game.

Butte High girls’ coach Kevin Petritz said his team put out more effort than in Friday’s loss to Billings Skyview.

“We struggled to keep the ball,” Petritz said. “Camille McEwen played well. We need to get better playing faster.”

The Bulldogs are back in action Tuesday when Bozeman comes to town for matches at the Jeremy Bullock Complex. The girls play at 3 p.m., with the boys following at 5.

Butte               2          0 — 2
Billings           1          2 — 3

West — Cody Gagnon (Alex Michaelson), 6:00
Butte — Shaun Villa (Zach Archibald), 12:00
Butte — Villa (Trevyn Roth), 22:00
West — Michaelson (Lucas Gerbasi), 47:00
West — Alden Cheney, 48:00
Shots — Butte 7, West 10.
Saves —Butte 7 (Erik Rosa), West 4 (Ryan Cornwall).

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