MISSOULA – We continue our countdown of the top sports stories of the year in Western Montana with a stop on the pitch at number six. Missoula Hellgate boys soccer has made the jump from a powerhouse program to a dynasty.

The Knights only lost once and had one draw during the regular season. Then at the state tournament in Missoula, the two-time defending champs blew past their first two opponents in the bracket.

Upset-minded Kalispell Glacier provided a challenge in the championship. The Knights came back to force overtime, fell behind again in the extra period, but then scored three in a row to put away the Wolfpack 4-2. Players and coaches admitted the third straight title felt extra special, because it came in their hometown.

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“In Missoula having it be your senior year is awesome, for sure,” said forward Rylan Compton. “It means a lot when all your friends and your family come. So that felt good.”

“This one might be the most satisfying,” said head coach Jay Anderson about his fourth state title at Hellgate. “Just that we got to do it in town, in Missoula. It’s great to have all of these fans out here. They were loud. They were proud of Hellgate. It was awesome to see.”

Anderson was also named national large school coach of the year by United Soccer Coaches. And the Knights bring back plenty of talent looking for four in a row in 2018.