BILLINGS – The Billings Central girls are one step closer to their ninth State A soccer title game in 10 years.
Zoie Althoff, Class A’s leading scorer, had a hat trick, while teammate Morgan Ferestad added two more goals as Central beat Missoula Loyola 6-0 Saturday afternoon in a State A quarterfinal at Wendy’s Field on the campus of Rocky Mountain College.
Ferestad opened the scoring in the 23rd minute, breaking through after Breaker goalkeeper Morgan Nicholson had stymied the Rams after the first 20 minutes, including a save on an Althoff penalty kick.
The sophomore got her revenge late in the first half to double Central’s lead at the break. Althoff then made it 3-0 early after halftime with a right-footed strike from just outside the box from a sharp angle.
Chloe Paharik headed home an Althoff cross two minutes later to make it 4-0 Rams in the 45th minute. 10 minutes later, Ferestad and Althoff scored twice in two minutes to reach the 6-0 final.
Central is aiming for their third straight State A championship, and ninth in the past 10 years. They will host the winner between Columbia Falls and Stevensville in the semifinals next Saturday, Oct. 21. The match is tentatively schedule for 11:00 am.