Havre Daily News
The Hi-Line United U-19 club soccer team played its last two home games of the season as the United faced off against two of the top club soccer teams in Montana in Butte and Missoula, on Saturday afternoon in Havre.
The United opened up the pair of back-to-back games against Missoula and managed to out-hustle, outshoot and outscore Missoula, 5-2.
Kyle Mackay helped lead the team to victory with a pair of goals. Chris Owens also made a big contribution with a goal and two assists in the contest. Drue Ita and Jack Lynch also scored goals for the United.
The United systematically dominated the Missoula team, as it out shot Missoula 49-11 in shots on goal. Hi-Line goalie Tyler Myers turned away nine of Missoula's 11 shots on goal.
“I thought that we played well with having just one player able to come off the bench,” United Head coach John Ita said. “We got and are getting a lot of shots on the goal. We just have to start scoring more and doing a better job of converting on our opportunities.”
In the second contest, the United met up with the Butte club and fell short in its quest for victory, battling to a 1-1 tie. Mackay scored the only goal for the United, as it once again failed to capitalize on a number of good scoring chances. The United scored just once out of 21 shots on goal.
“Again, we got a lot of shots on goal and just didn't convert as much as we should have,” Ita said. “However, Butte is a very good team. They are very athletic and they play extremely physical, so it was a good challenge for our team.”
Shiloh Barrett played outstanding in goal for the United, allowing just one goal and making four saves to put the United in a position to earn a tie.
“Our goalies played very well against some very good offensive teams,” Ita said. “We also played very well defensively, and our midfielders played well and made good decisions to help set up the offense with opportunities.”
The Hi-Line United black team that competes in the Big Sky League also played a pair of matches against Butte and Missoula on Saturday at the HHS soccer fields. The United black team ended up with some impressive results when considering they were playing teams from a higher ranking U-19 league.
The United opened up its twin bill of matches against the Butte club team. The United black were able to hang around with Butte for the entire first half and much of the second half before surrendering two goals late in the game that cost them the victory, falling to Butte, 2-0.
“I think that even though we lost, we played pretty well,” United black head coach Tim Hagen said. “I thought we did a good job against a very good team from a higher ranking league. Our team is younger and much more inexperienced than our opponents happened to be, and our kids still played very well.”
The United black team finished out its weekend with a match against the Missoula club team. The United black played well enough to earn a surprising 3-2 victory over Missoula.
CJ Leeds led the way for the United black with one goal and one assist in the contest. Jordan Hagen and Harry Kim both scored goals as well in the winning effort.
Adrian Doll also did a solid job in goal for Havre with 10 saves, as he allowed only two goals in the victory.
“Beating Missoula was a big win for our team. It showed how far this team has come along so far this season,” Hagen said. “I think that because we played so well against two U-19 teams, our team should do really well at the state tournament in our league. I am excited about the team's chances at the state tournament and I think this weekend showed that we can play with some of the better teams in the U-19 league so that is very promising for our team.”
The United black team won't be back in action until the Montana Big Sky League state tournament in three weeks.