MISSOULA – Kalispell Flathead and Missoula Sentinel played two tight Western AA soccer battles that went down to the final moments on Tuesday. The Brave boys picked up a thrilling 4-3 win, while the girls settled for a 2-2 draw.
Flathead led the boys match 1-0 at halftime and extended the margin with a goal from AJ Apple 10 minutes into the second half. Sentinel’s Jake Larson buried a penalty kick just three minutes later, and just one minute after that Sentinel’s Seth Thayer stopped a penalty kick attempt by Colter Goss.
Sentinel stayed on the attack and tied the match with a surprising strike. Noah McNelis hit a long strike from a nearly impossible angle down the right sideline that managed to sneak into the side-netting. Another penalty kick drilled by Cole Reimer gave Sentinel three straight goals and the lead with less than 20 minutes to go.
But Flathead responded right back two minutes later. Cameron Deneeve sent in a cross that Goss hammered home to tie the match 3-3. It remained tied until the final minutes. Then, Goss got ahead of the Spartan defense and chipped a shot over Thayer for the game-winning goal.
Flathead improves to 5-6 in Western AA play. The Braves remain in fifth place with one final home match upcoming against the first-place Missoula Hellgate boys on Thursday. Third-place Sentinel falls to 6-5 and will travel to sixth-place Kalispell Glacier for its final match on Thursday.
The girls couldn’t settle their match after 80 minutes. The 2-2 draw was the third in conference play for the 5-3-3 Spartans. Third-place Sentinel takes on last-place Glacier on Thursday.
Flathead moves into fourth place with a 4-5-2 record. The Bravettes will wrap up the season versus second-place Hellgate on Thursday.