Chris Peterson Havre Daily News email@example.com Even though it doesn’t appear to
Even though it doesn’t appear to be spring when you glance outside, spring is here and that means the return of the Hi-Line United soccer program. The Hi-Line United are a club soccer program that features both boys and girls teams. The boys team will compete in the U-19 division, while the girls will compete in the U-18 division. “We have about 16-17 boys out for the team this year,” United boys coach Tim Hagen said. “We have a lot of good returning talent from last year’s team and we also have a lot of good young players that played on our BSL (Big Sky League) team last season.” The Hi-Line United boys were brilliant last season, losing just one game on their way to a state championship in their division. With a strong group of core players returning from last season, the team will be looking to repeat as state champions. Taylor Ita, Chris Owens, Eric Olsen and Tyler Boyce will help lead what plans to be an explosive offensive attack. The defense should also be strong for the United with the return of standout goaltender Tyler Myers, as well as defensemen Scott Geda and Kris Cote. “I think that we should be pretty strong again this season,” Hagen said. “We have a lot of talented players that work really hard.” The remainder of the roster includes midfielders Drew McCrae, Isaac Hutton, Garrett Ohm, as well as defensemen Adrian Doll, Tyler Ellis, Eric Leyba and Kenny Pester. Doll and Ellis will also fill in at goaltender from time to time. “I think that one problem we had last season was depth,” Hagen said. “We didn’t have quite as many players as some of the other teams we played, so sometimes our kids might get tired in the second half of games. Now, we have a few more subs, so our kids should be able to give it their all throughout the entire game.” The boys team will begin play this weekend in Lewistown, where the United will take on the Lewistown Bullets and the Whitehall Spiders. Both games will take place Saturday afternoon. Last season was the first season for the Hi-Line United girls team. The team won just three games in its inaugural season, but coach Shannon Howland feels that the team is ready to take a big step forward in this season. “I think that we are going to be a lot more competitive this season,” Howland said. “We have 22 girls out this season and seven of them are returning players from last season. “All the girls have been working hard and they are looking good. We also have some girls that play other high school sports and I think that will help give us a competitive edge because they really want to win.” Forwards Mariah Armstrong and Emily Boyce are returning players that will help spearhead the team this season along with midfielders Emily Hilliard, Jessica Howland and Sara Lippy. Jenna McCann will also play a key role for the United this season at a number of different positions. Taylor O’Connell will contribute on the defensive side of the field as will Autumn Filler, Mara Malsam, Kaylee Peck Johnson, Sabrina Rhines, Shelbe Friede and Brittany Gobin. Friede, Gobin and Cali Freier will also tend goal for the United. Other girls that will see action as a forward, midfielder or defenseman are Kela Bergren, Christina Armstrong, Cheyenne Barrett, Luana Ganasini, Rebecca Hutton, Kadee Burrington and Katie Stremcha. “It’s kind of hard right now to know where everyone is going to be playing,” Howland said. “Because we haven’t had any games and I haven’t seen a lot of girls play in an actual game.” The Hi-Line United girls team will also kick off its season this weekend, when they take on the Lewistown Bullets and the Great Falls Royals in Butte on Saturday afternoon.