HELENA — They have yet to lose a game this season, and don’t plan letting that happen any time soon.
The Helena High girls soccer team is in first place in the Western AA, but the Bengals didn’t get their easily.
“The only natural thing we have is pretty good team speed,” head coach Mike Meloy said about his squad. “Everything else is a product of hard work. These ladies come out here and we go through 45 minutes of passing, of boring, boring skill work, and they just keep doing it. And as they do it they keep getting better and better at it.”
With about a month until the state tournament, their numbers are backing that up, scoring 29 goals so far this season. That ties them for the top spot with defending state champion Bozeman in the East.
But it’s not just the hard work this team is putting in. The real key to owning the pitch so far is its team chemistry.
“We’ve got a lot of really well-rounded players, I’d say,” said midfielder Kamden Hilborn. “This team has a lot of spunk. We’ve got a lot of personalities that come together and we really play off each other really well. I think as the season continues, we just keep on getting closer and building bonds that show on the field and show with our passing and communication on the field.”
“We have players that play together so well that as we improve their skills, their ability to pass the ball and move around and lead the field, that’s starting to work such that they don’t have to be guessing where anyone is going,” added Meloy. “They know where they are going and we move the ball really quickly and have good speed on this team, and I think that’s primarily the key to our success.”
“We just have a lot of strong players at every position: our midfield, defense and striker,” midfielder Katie Martin said. “And I mainly think it’s our midfield, we have good possession and we can control the game.”
The Bengals still have a long way to go until they can hoist that state championship trophy, but they just might have what it takes.
“I think we have a better team this year. I think we communicate better. I think that across the board our level of play is better,” Meloy said. “So I think we have a better team this year than we did last year, and we had an excellent team last year.”