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State AA soccer championships rescheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 31

Soccer corner
Posted at 10:59 AM, Oct 27, 2023

The Class AA boys and girls state soccer championships have been postponed to Tuesday, Oct. 31, the Montana High School Association announced Friday.

The matches — pitting Missoula Hellgate against Bozeman for the girls title and Billings West against Bozeman for the boys championship — were originally scheduled to be played Saturday in Bozeman.

"The MHSA has been working closely with Bozeman Public Schools regarding the Class AA Boys and Girls State Soccer Championship," MHSA executive director Brian Michelotti wrote in an email. "Because of the recent snowstorm, the field conditions are not ideal for a state soccer championship, so these games will be moved."

"The projected forecast is better for Tuesday, and this will allow time for more field preparation," Michelotti added. "If the grass field at Bozeman High School is not ready for soccer, then an alternative turf field in the Bozeman area will be used on Tuesday."

Hellgate and Bozeman will play the girls championship at 1 p.m. Tuesday. The boys match between West and Bozeman is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

Both Bozeman teams earned the East's No. 1 seed for the state playoffs to secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

After receiving a first-round bye, the Hawk girls defeated Kalispell Flathead and Missoula Sentinel in playoff matches to advance to the championship, where they will play Hellgate, which is playing for the girls state soccer title for the first time in program history. The Knights are the West's No. 1 seed and defeated Billings Senior and Bozeman Gallatin in earlier playoff matches.

The Bozeman boys advanced to the championship match by defeating Missoula Sentinel in the quarterfinal round and crosstown rival Gallatin in the semifinals. West, meanwhile, is the East's No. 4 seed in the tournament. The Golden Bears took down Great Falls High in the first round before upsetting West No. 1-seed Kalispell Glacier in the quarterfinals. They got past Missoula Hellgate in the semifinals to get to the championship match. Bozeman and West met twice during the regular season, with the Hawks winning both matches 1-0.