BOZEMAN — The regular season ended in a picture perfect way for the Bozeman Gallatin girls soccer team, defeating their crosstown rival Bozeman to enter the Class AA playoffs, undefeated.
For the girls, though impressive, the undefeated regular season is not the end goal.
Last season ended in heartbreak losing a 1-0 battle to Billings West in the championship but instead of thinking about what they lost, they doubled down preparing for a second chance at a title.
“A lot of them still have that taste in their mouth and they were hungry to get back to it,” Head Coach Joel Ganey said. “Ever since the preseason this summer, the girls have worked super hard to get to where we're at.”
Their biggest weapon this season has been senior leader and top goal scorer Olivia Collins, who is already committed to Boise State and achieved Gatorade Player of the Year her junior season. With those accolades, most athletes would be satisfied with their high school career but with Collins approaching a single season goal record set back in 1996, it’s evident that she’s motivated.
“The Gatorade Player of the Year was great and committing to Boise was great but at the same time, like I was proud of those things, but I knew I couldn't necessarily settle,” Collins admitted.
Despite the personal achievements, it isn’t lost on Collins how important the entirety of her team has been through this undefeated season and her personal success.
“She definitely believes in her teammates and believes and understands that how much help they can give her,” Ganey mentioned.
“We know what each other is going to do,” Collins added. “We just have great chemistry on the field.:
But at the end of the day it’s hard to not recognize a talent like Collins, even if she doesn’t want all the recognition.
“She’s amazing not only just as a player, but as a person, too,” Ganey complimented. “It's never about her. She's the humblest person you'll meet and doesn't really want to be in the spotlight that much.”
As her sights are still firmly set on helping the Raptors win their first state title, a look ahead to playing college soccer at her dream school come next Fall gives her excitement.
“It's just really cool. Like, I know that all of the people that are going to be in my life in the future are all amazing and just going to help me grow and I'm going to help them grow.
Gallatin has a first round bye next week before they head into a home quarterfinals match-up Oct. 22nd against the winner of Missoula Sentinel and Butte.