HELENA — Through nine matches, the Helena High girls soccer team has 61 goals. To put that number in perspective, the Bengals are outscoring their opponents 10-1, and have scored at minimum twice as many goals as half of the teams in the Western AA.
Though Helena High girls head coach Mike Meloy has two state titles to his credit at the helm of the program, Meloy noted this year's team is certainly something special.
"I think this team, across the board, is stronger than any team that I've coached. Both in terms of their athletic ability, as well as their technical skills. Part of their technical skills have been learned over the last four years," said Meloy. "We've got a good bunch of seniors on this team, that had been working on passing and passing and receiving and shooting, and over that period of time, they have become really proficient."
As the Helena High girls make what's likely an inevitable charge to a top-seed berth in the Class AA playoff, last year's second-place finish in the championship game is still relatively fresh in player's minds.
"Definitely being that close was, I mean, it's hard. You get a little taste of it, and then you want the championship, and being so close to definitely was a little bit of a letdown. So, I think it is a driving factor in this next year," said senior Rachel Plaster. "I also think that being so close, and not getting that opportunity makes us want it more, and makes us realize how real it is when you get to that point, and how you have to play; no matter who you're playing against."
Though the loss in last year's title match left a sour taste in their mouths, there were lesson's learned through the process.
"Definitely to like focus only going forward and not think about anything that's already happened. Just because you've been a team once or twice doesn't mean you'll beat them again," said senior Elsa Grebenc.
Helena High will look to continue their near-perfect romp to the playoffs on Saturday when they host the Butte Bulldogs.