MISSOULA — The high school soccer season has almost completed, and on Saturday Missoula will play host to the Class AA boys state championship game.
The Missoula Hellgate Knights will play in their eighth straight Class AA state soccer game when they host the Kalispell Glacier Wolfpack at 2 p.m. at Fort Missoula Regional Park. The Knights are the top seed from the Western AA while the Wolfpack are the No. 2 seed.
Hellgate comes in after beating Billings West 1-0 on Tuesday while Glacier topped Bozeman 2-1 on the road.
The Knights have won five of the seven state title games they've been to on this run, including the last two.
Recently, head coach Jay Anderson also won his 200th career game as the coach of the Knights soccer program as well. Anderson earned the milestone in Hellgate's 9-0 win over Kalispell Flathead in the opening round. They followed that up with a 2-1 win over Billings Senior in the quarterfinal round and the win over West in the semifinals, giving Anderson 202 career wins to date.
Each year the Knights find their way to the final game of the season, and they say, it's about the culture within the program.
"I think it's just always how the team has connected," senior forward Marcus Anderson said. "Every other day is like a team dinner. We all bond on and off the field. We're connected."
"Coaching, especially. We have a great coaches. But also everyone comes to Hellgate and wants to play soccer and wants to be better," senior goalkeeper Loren Deskins added. "We have freshmen that are amazing. We have people coming into the program who love the sport. I think it's just a love for the sport."