Havre Daily News
Ever since its season opening loss to Laurel, the Hi-Line United U-19 club soccer team has been on quite a roll. The United have won six consecutive games with most of the wins coming in dominating fashion.
Unfortunately, this weekend in Butte, the United's six game winning streak came to a halt after a 4-2 loss to the Butte U-18 club.
During their winning streak, the United's staple has been their suffocating defense and great goal tending. Those were two of the main reasons that the United had been having so much success. Other teams were not being allowed to get very many shots on the United goalies and when they did get shots on goal, the Hi-Line United goalies were making the saves.
On Saturday in Butte, the United played another solid game defensively but it was not enough to stop a Butte team that simply wore down the United with its superior depth.
The United actually out-shot Butte 25-15 in the match, which shows that the United did control a good portion of the contest. But in the end, Butte was able to find the net enough times for the victory.
“Butte had a lot of subs, they had a full roster which is 18 kids. They are a talented team, but they are beatable we just need to play better and use our subs better,” United head coach Jon Ita said. “We just made too many mistakes, we turned the ball over way to many times in critical situations. We just didn't do a good job of executing in certain situations. If we want to beat a team like them we have to play a lot smarter, show more patience.”
The United got their two goals in the match from Eric Olsen and Chris Owens, who each scored one a piece. Owens also assisted on Olsen's goal and Drue Ita assisted on the other goal. Drue Ita also had a very productive game on defense with 20 tackles, 19 interceptions and two blocks. Goalie Shiloh Barrett made six saves while surrendering four goals in the loss.
“We need to be more patient on offense so we can build up our attack,” Ita said. “Often we would give our offense the ball before our attackers were ready and that resulted in a lot of turnovers that really hurt us. We need to look to get better shots, and we just need to be more patient and play better as a team.”
The Hi-Line United also played a match against the Butte U-16 club in Butte on Saturday and was able to salvage a split out of the back-to-back games with a 3-1 win.
Kyle Mackay led the way for the United with a two-goal effort. Drue Ita also added a goal for the United and Eric Olsen and Chris Owens notched assists.
The United also got great defensive efforts from Taylor Ita, Scott Geda and Alex Leyba, who helped hold the Butte U-16 team to only one goal on just seven shots. In fact, the defense played so well that goalie Tyler Myers had to make just one save in the contest.
The United are now 7-2 on the season after the two-game split on Saturday.
The Hi-Line United will be in Havre next Saturday for games against Missoula and Shelby.