Spring sports have already begun, and also starting to get into full swing is Hi-Line United soccer. Both a girls U16 and Coed U19 team have been put together this season in Havre. And with spring just beginning, both teams are two games into their seasons. The U19 squad is made of 19 boys and two girls. And after the United finished last season as the third-place team overall, they have gotten off to great start, sitting atop the Montana standings with a 2-0 record. And hoping to build on last year’s success, the goals are simple. Head coach Pam Olson is focusing on the fundamentals. She has the team working on the basics, passing, shooting, dribbling and communication. “I think when you work on your developmental skills the team comes together,” Olson said. “The ultimate goal is to win games, but I think feeling good about the performance you put on is very important also.” Olson welcomes back a solid group of returning players. Eric Leyba, Kadee Burrington and Nolan Holden have already graduated high school, but return as promising leaders. And Jordan Hobson and Raferty Reddies join that group as the only two seniors. But United’s strength really lies in the solid class of juniors. They have been playing with eachother since middle school, and should carry the majority of the load this season. Jayson Burrington, Skyler Herman, Thomas Howell, Phillip Ley, Logan Pike, Carson Pollington, Payton Robertson, Ben Wiken, Erik Woodwick and Taran Huestis headline this year's roster as the junior class, and should lead the way. “They are like each others right and left shoe,” Olson said. “As far as numbers go, they are sort of the core of our group.” Huestis should also make a big splash this season as the goalie. Olson says he is an outstanding athlete, and though she hates to single out players, he has already been an impact player. “He is quite the anchor of our team,” Olson said. “He really does a great job of being our goalie, and 99 times out of a 100 he seems to be in the right place at the right time. Miguel Ley, Sam Lippy, Kaitlyn McKnight, Trygg Moog, Milan Trinkal and Rodrigo Valencia make up the rest of this year's roster. On Saturday United will get two games under its belt at home. Playing at the Havre High school, they will host Electric City out of Great Falls at 10 a.m., and at 4:45 p.m. they will host the Lewistown Bullets. Both the Bullets and Electric City are a mystery to United, but the work they have put in on fundamentals and conditioning should have them prepared adequately. “I have been stressing to the kids fundamentals and conditioning,” Olson said. “Once you really know how to shoot the ball well, pass the ball, dribble and keep good control the rest comes into place. And fundamentals and conditioning are our strong suits right now.” The Hi-Line girls U16 team is in a different boat. They didn’t have the numbers the put together a team a year ago, and barely have enough to do so this year, housing only 11 girls on the roster. “Our goals are to just rebuild,” Head coach Shannon Howland said. “Most of the girls are new to traveling soccer so we are almost back at square one.” They also only bring back four girls. Jessica Howland, Emily Boyce, Rebecca Hutton and Katherine Gilge return to the United squad, but are still a little rusty compared to other teams in the state after sitting out a season. Lynnea Bosch, Monica Boyce, Brianna Fox, Leighia Hansen, Jordyn Kinna, Mildred Loftus and Jessica Wiken make up the rest of the girls U16 team. With only having 11 girls out this season, wins are going to be hard to come by. They have gotten off to a 0-2 start thus far, and are bracing for big challenges this spring. They don’t have the numbers to match up with the already tough teams on their schedule. “It will be tough to win games,” Howland said. “With the girls and all the different activities they do we probably wont ever have more than 10 players. We are always going to be playing down, and that makes it difficult to win.” The United has turned to defense to help keep them competitive. With 10 girls they run a four-person defense with Fox, Bosch, Hansen and Monica Boyce. Those four girls have a big job in trying to keep the game closer. “We are trying to at least keep the score lower on the other side,” Howland said. The girls U16 also play this weekend, but will take to the road. They have no home games this season, but will face Belgrade at 1 p.m. and Polson at 4 p.m. Saturday in Butte. Coach Howland doesn’t know a whole lot about either squad, but knows they have them out numbered. Belgrade will bring 13 girls to competition, while Polson houses 16. “That’s really all I know about them,” Howland said. In preparation for this weekend United is working on getting in shape. With no subs, each girl has to play two 45-minute halves per game. And with two games this weekend that means they will play for ultimately for three hours. “We are really working on getting into shape.” Howland said. “But we are also working on the basics, fundamentals as well as some different types of concepts in play and tactics.” Starting the season 0-2 has made for a rough beginning, and even though all signs point to tough season overall, Howland is happy to have a team to coach. “I am really excited about that,” Howland said. “We only started a few years ago, but we have worked really hard to get the girls back together. Some girls just need to play on an all girls team and I am hoping we can get more girls out.” The Hi-Line United U19 coed team has two games in Havre this weekend. They will face Electric City out of Great Falls at 10 a.m., and at 4:45 they will face the Lewistown Bullets.
Hi-Line United soccer kicks into action
Havre U19 team hosts two games on Saturday
Published: Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
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