COLUMBIA FALLS — On Saturday, the Columbia Falls Wildcats hosted the Livingston Rangers for the boys Class A soccer state championship.
From start to finish it was all Wildcats — and the Kai Golan Show — as he notched a hat trick in the first half, which started with a left-footed banger in the 25th minute to make the score 2-0.
Only four minutes later he found the back of the net again with his left foot to make it 3-0 and give the Wildcats a commanding lead and control of the game.
Golan wasn’t done there as he notched his third of the game, all within only nine minutes, this time via a beautiful header just inside the 18-yard-box which sailed just over the Livingston goalkeeper to make it 4-0 heading into halftime and all but put the nail in the coffin.
Columbia Falls got another in the second half and the Rangers managed to steal two back in but it was too little, too late as the Wildcats road their near-perfect first half and hat trick from Golan to a 5-2 win to clinch the 2022 state title.
"I told myself going into this game I wasn’t losing," said a happy but serious Kai Golan. "I just had to get it done and that’s what I did."
It was the third consecutive state championship appearance for the Wildcats but their first win in that span, proving that the third time is the charm.
Earlier in the day on other side of the Flathead Valley, the girls Class A state championship took place at the Smith Fields, where the Billings Central Rams defeated the Whitefish Bulldogs 2-1 in a thriller.