The Billings West, Missoula Hellgate and Bozeman Gallatin boys soccer teams won thrilling matches in the quarterfinal round of the Class AA state playoffs Friday, while the Missoula Sentinel and Hellgate advanced in the girls bracket.
There are three more quarterfinal matches on Saturday: Bozeman High hosts Missoula Sentinel in the boys bracket while Kalispell Flathead travels to Bozeman and Bozeman Gallatin hosts Helena on the girls side.
Following are details and highlights from Friday's matches.
Billings West 2, Kalispell Glacier 1 (9-8 in PKs)
KALISPELL — Billings West, the No. 4 seed from the East, knocked off the West's No. 1 Kalispell Glacier 2-1 on Friday by outlasting the Wolfpack 9-8 in a wild PK found following 100 minutes of play.
It was a scoreless first half with neither side able to generate much offense and the one close chance for either team coming from a PK attempt from Glacier just before the half that was saved by Billings West goalkeeper Brennen Ellis.
Eight minutes into the second half the Golden Bears found the back of the net via junior forward Caden Haff to put them on top 1-0.
Just when it seemed like West might pull of the upset, Glacier's Hans Coggins buried a free kick from 25 yards to notch the equalizer with less than two minutes to play in regulation. That sent the game into overtime which consisted of two 10 minute periods in which both sides were unable to produce a game winner.
The game then went to PKs where the Wolfpack and Bears were both perfect through their respective first five shooters. The sixth, seventh, and eighth shooters for both squads all found the back of the net.
Then, Glacier hit the crossbar and missed on their ninth attempt which set up Billings West's Aidan Benton with the chance to win it all. Benton buried his shot into the back left corner of the goal.
Missoula Hellgate 1, Billings Senior 0 (5-3 in PKs)
BILLINGS — Missoula Hellgate, the four-time defending state champion, survived in the quarterfinal round of the Class AA boys soccer state playoffs Friday, outlasting Billings Senior 1-0 in penalty kicks.
The Knights and Broncs played a defensive chess match, with neither offense able to generate many scoring opportunities. The few times they did, both goalkeepers stood tall and preserved clean sheets throughout.
Hellgate and Senior ended regulation in a scoreless tie and remained knotted at 0-0 through the overtime periods, bringing on the shootout to determine the winner.
The first three players — two for Hellgate and one for Senior — found the back of the net before Senior’s Lucas Thompson, the leading goal scorer in the class this season, stepped up. Thompson’s kick clanged off the cross bar, giving Hellgate the advantage.
The Knights made their next three kicks, the clincher coming from Lucca Musco to send Hellgate into the semifinal round, where the Knights will play Billings West on Oct. 24.
Bozeman Gallatin 2, Helena Capital 1
HELENA — Oliver Boettcher scored two goals to help Bozeman Gallatin, the East's No. 3 seed, to a 2-1 win over West No. 2-seed Helena Capital in the quarterfinal round of the Class AA state soccer playoffs on Friday.
Boettcher scored in the first half to give the Raptors a 1-0 lead at intermission, but Capital's Josiah Bibeau scored the equalizer early in the second half. Boettcher added his second goal later in the second half to propel the Raptors into the semifinal round, where they will play the winner of Saturday's match between Bozeman High and Missoula Sentinel.
Missoula Sentinel 2, Billings West 0
MISSOULA — Missoula Sentinel's girls soccer team advanced to the semifinal round of the Class AA state soccer playoffs with a 2-0 win over Billings West on Friday.
The Spartans — last year's runners-up in Class AA — scored goals in each half, with Brooke McKittrick giving them the lead in the 20th minute off an assist from Briel Powers. In the second half, Powers then pushed the advantage to 2-0 in the 73rd minute on an assist from Phoebe Knellhorne.
Sentinel keeper Sierra Lowry finished with 10 saves in the match to preserve the clean sheet for the Spartans.
Sentinel will meet the winner of Bozeman and Kalispell Flathead in the semifinals next Tuesday. The Hawks and Bravettes play their quarterfinal match on Saturday.
Missoula Hellgate 5, Billings Senior 1
MISSOULA — The top-seeded Missoula Hellgate Knights made quick work of Billings Senior on Friday with a 5-1 victory to advance to the semifinals.
Senior Carmen Anderson racked up a hat-trick for the Knights with goals in the 27th, 50th and 61st minutes. Chloe Anderson added a free kick goal in the 29th minute and Quynh McKelvey-Pham scored late in the match to seal it for the Knights.
After leading 2-0 at halftime, Carmen Anderson's second goal came on a penalty kick after she was tripped in the box.
Senior responded with their first goal on a free kick score from Payton Grover, who scored almost identically to Chloe Anderson's free kick goal, which got the Broncs within 3-1 in the 58th minute.
But three minutes later, Carmen Anderson scored again to net the hat-trick and all but seal it for the Knights.
Hellgate's Nova Gardner finished with four saves in the match. Molly Dombrowski, Maizy Miller and Chloe Anderson all finished with assists for the Knights.
Hellgate will host the winner of Helena High and Bozeman Gallatin next Tuesday in the semifinals.