Havre Daily News
All season long the Hi-Line United
U-19 club soccer team has strived to
avenge its second-place finish at the
state soccer tournament from a season
On Sunday afternoon in Butte, the
United took care of its unfinished business
by claiming the state championship
of the U-19 League with a 5-1
victory over the Laurel Storm.
“It was a very good weekend for
us,” United head coach John Ita said.
“We knew that we had a good chance
coming into the tournament but we
just play so incredibly well that I don’t
think it would have mattered who we
played, I think we could have beaten
any team in the state that is how well
The United opened its run to the
title against Laurel, a team that had
defeated the United on the first weekend
of the season, with a 2-0 result.
Drue Ita and Chris Owens each scored
a goal a piece in the opening-round
win. Eric Olsen added an assist and
goalie Shiloh Barrett also contributed
with three saves in the shutout victory.
“I think that we kind of caught
them off guard in the first game,”
John Ita said. “They have this spectacular
goalie that was just huge and
he made some spectacular saves that
allowed them to stay in the game even
though we clearly outplayed them, we
had a tough time getting the ball in
the net because of the goalie, but in
the end we scored enough to win.”
In the second contest of the tournament,
the flood gates opened up for
the United as it cruised to an easy 9-2
victory over Miles City. Bruce
Beecher and Olsen each netted three
goals a piece to lead the United to victory.
The only other goal in the game
for the United came from Owens.
Beecher also notched an assist in the
contest along with Owens, Jack Lynch
and Tyler Myers.
“We came out and played really
well in the Miles City game,” John Ita
said. “We scored seven goals in the
first half of play and then I told the
kids to kind of let up a little bit
because we didn’t want things to get
out of hand and that was the wrong
thing to say to this group of kids.
After that they kind of stopped shooting
and they mere making a lot more
passes. But, we made a couple of bad
passes that allowed them to score a
couple of easy goals, but overall the
team did very well.”
After triumphing in its first two
games the United met up once again
with the Laurel Storm, and this time
the match was for all the marbles.
Unfortunately for the Storm, the
United ended up being too much for
them to handle as the United cruised
to an easy 5-1 win and a state championship.
Drue Ita led the way for the United
with two goals in the contest to go
along with two assists. Beecher added
a goal as did Olsen and Owens also
pitched in with goals in the victory.
In goal, Barrett had another outstanding
performance allowing just one
goal while turning on 10 shots and
racking up three saves.
“We just completely shocked
them,” John Ita said. “I really don’t
think they expected us to play as well
as we did, but our kids just came out
played awesome. I think that our
team was still intimidated by their
goalie a little bit, but after we scored
a couple times things really opened up
and we started to score a lot more frequently.”
The win capped off another successful
season for the United as they
lost just one game all season which
they avenged at the state tournament
with their two victories over Laurel.
The team was down right dominant
all season long as the United
outscored its opponents by the score
of 110-20 over the course of the season.
The leading goal scorers during the
season were Olsen and Owens with 18
goals each as well, and Drue Ita with
16 goals a piece.
In addition to his 18 goals Owens
also led the team in assists with 15.
Drue Ita finished second on the team
in assists with 14.
As far as the goalies were concerned,
Barrett gave up 12 goals on 68
shots while making 33 saves and Tyler
Myers allowed eight goals on 67 shots
while making 26 saves.
The United (B) team of the Big Sky
League also participated in its state
tournament over the weekend in
Butte, but unfortunately things didn’t
really go its way as the United
dropped all three of its contests, ending
what was a very successful season.
The United lost a pair of close
games to Lewistown, 1-0 and
Whitehall, 2-0, before falling to
Stevensville in the third and final
“The kids played hard and they
played their hearts out we just didn’t
play as well as we would have liked
to,” United (B) head coach Tim Hagen
said. “We had a three-week lay off
before the state tournament and I
think that really came back to bite us
because we were not very sharp and
we just weren’t ready to go. It seemed
like we were just a step behind all
Lewistown ended up winning the
state title in the Big Sky League with
a victory over Stevensville Sunday
afternoon in Butte.
Even though his team came up
short Hagen is both encouraged and
excited about next season.
“I think we have to look forward to
having a good season next year,” he
said. “We have a lot of good players
that will be returning and now they
will know what it’s like to play at state
so they will have plenty of experience
next season when state rolls around.
It was a tough way to end a good season
but I think that we learned a lot
and got better as the season went on
and now we just have to focus on having
another successful season next
Also in Butte on Saturday, the Hi-
Line United U-14 team captured a
state championship in the U-14 league.
The United defeated the Missoula
Red Strikers in the championship
match, 3-2. The United lost to
Missoula in its opening match of the
tournament, 2-0, but rebounded to
defeat Whitehall 6-0 and Polson 4-2 to
reach the state championship match
and a rematch with the Red Strikers.
The state championship United
team includes Taylor Erskine, Jordan
Hobson, Teran Huestis, Sam Lippy,
Dylan McLean, Craig Moog, Tabby
Myers, Logan Pike, Carson
Pollington, Robert Robertson, Eric
Woodwick, Tom Howell and Ben
Wiken. The United is coached by
Jeremy Woodwick and assisted by