By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editorfirstname.lastname@example.org
Things don't get any easier for Hi-Line United Big Sky League soccer team. The United are coming off a tough weekend of competition and this weekend's competition may be even tougher. But at least they will be at home.
The United will host a familiar squad on Saturday morning in the Hi-Line United U-16 squad and follow that up with a a game against an extremely talented U-16 squad from Billings.
The United BSL team is coming off a 1-1 weekend in Great Falls, picking up a 2-1 win over Dillon after suffering a tough 5-1 loss to a very good Livingston squad.
Jake Verploegen scored both goals in the win over Livingston, while Alex Chenoweth scored a goal off a Verploegen corner kick in the loss to Livingston. The split gave the BSL a 2-2 record for the season.
"The score was 0-0 at halftime and we just let things deteriorate in the second half," said BSL head coach Jim Chenoweth. "All the kids played very hard and we had good performances from Tyler Dusek on defense, Alex Chenoweth at midfield and Jake Verploegen at striker."
On Saturday, the BSL squad will take on their younger counterparts at 9 a.m. to open up full day of soccer action.
The United U-16 are coming off wins in Missoula to improve to 3-1 on the season behind the strong play of Bruce Beecher and Levi Hutton.
Because of the familiarity of practicing together every day, the game should be very good despite the age differences.
Age won't matter much at noon when the United BSL takes on a very good Billings U-16 squad. Billings dealt the United U-16 team its only loss earlier this year in a 1-0 barnburner.
"This Billings team is really good and probably one of the best U-16 teams in the state," said United U-16 head coach John Ita. "We lost to them 1-0 and they were without three of their good players. The are big, fast and strong and really know how to pass the ball."
The Billings-Hi-Line game should be so good that Ita recommended any youth soccer players and coaches should attend on Saturday.
"It would be a great way for them to see how soccer should be played," Ita said.
While that game is going on, the United U-16's will be taking on the Lewistown U-16 squad.
Those games will be followed up with a Billings and Lewistown match-up at 3 p.m.
All of Saturday's soccer action will be at the south field of Havre High School behind the gymnasium. Admission is free, but spectators are reminded to bring their own lawn chairs as no seating is available.