BILLINGS — The Laurel Locomotives might like Billings Central's home field more than their own.
Mya Maack scored in the ninth minute and Maeson Cotter added an early second-half goal, while Laurel's defense shut down the most prolific offense in the state in a 2-0 win over Central in Saturday's State A girls soccer championship game at Wendy's Field on the campus of Rocky Mountain College.
Maack's opener was a touch of class, as the freshman received a pass from older sister Morgan Maack and chipped the ball up and over Central goalkeeper Mya Hansen into the net. The Rams looked like they would add an equalizer moments later, as Zoie Althoff played a through ball for Montana's all-time goal-scoring leader Morgan Ferestad, but Laurel sophomore goalkeeper Anna Cole, in her first year as starter after replacing Hansen who transferred from Laurel in the offseason, got to the ball a split-second before Ferestad to make the diving stop.
Later in the first half, Cole was called on again as Althoff lifted a 40-yard free kick into the box. It bounced right in front of Cole, but she made the stop and didn't give up a rebound to the onrushing tandem of Ferestad and Solei Elletson.
Laurel led 1-0 at halftime, and Maeson Cotter doubled the lead less than three minutes into the second with a goal seemingly out of nowhere. With her back to the net, Cotter turned and fired from 30 yards away over the outstretched arms of Hansen, who was only able to touch it onto the bottom side of the crossbar before the ball bounced over the goal line.
The Locomotive defense continually cleared any pressure the rest of the half, as Central's high-powered offense was held scoreless after scoring 102 goals in their first 14 games of the season.
The matchup was the fifth consecutive State A championship game between the two teams. Central won three of the first four, but Laurel has now won three of the past six State A titles, finishing as the runner-up in the other three.