BOZEMAN — The Gallatin Raptors came in undefeated looking to do two things in the their state title game against the West three seed, Missoula Sentinel Spartans:
Finish their season without a loss and avenge their state title loss last season.
They started the game on the right path to succeeding those two goals as in the ninth minute, Gallatin’s Olivia Collins split two defenders to find the back of the net.
Then just before half in the 38th minute, Indigo Andresen curved it near left post to give Gallatin a 2-0 lead into halftime.
However, the Spartans were resilient as less than two minutes into the second half Peyton Schmauch scored off the corner kick to make it 2-1.
Olivia Collins would exit the game temporarily with an injury but luckily keeper Averi Smith and the defense held down the fort in her absence.
Collins would return as Andresen would find her at the top of box in the 71st minute scoring her second goal and sealing the game winning 3-1 at the final whistle.
“It's such a good feeling,” Collins said. “It's just like we've worked so hard for that and to see it finally pay off is just amazing.”
For Head Coach Joel Ganey, the end to the season was well worth the wait and let down from last season’s title game.
“What a fairytale story that it happened that way,” Ganey laughed. “We talked about it all season long and even before the game, one of our key words was unfazed and we said ‘we need to be unfazed.’ Anything that happens this game, we need to be able to work through it and we're going to be just fine and keep our heads and be professional about it.”
Gallatin captures a state title in only their third ever year of existence.