Powered by Kamden Hilborn's hat trick, the Helena High girls routed Flathead 6-0 in Kalispell, improving their undefeated record to 8-0-2 and clinching the Western Conference championship. It is the Lady Bengals' fifth consecutive league title.
Hilborn shook the back of the net three times to increase her conference-leading scoring total to 14 goals and six assists, for 34 points. Also netting goals for HHS were Alanna Vickory, Alli Wade and Claire Benedetti. Jaylen Tintinger crossed for a pair of assists, while Brook Price and Maddie Mariegard had one assist each.
"The entire back line turned in a solid defensive effort, with Gracie Lawlor and Kam dominating the midfield," said HHS coach Mike Meloy.
With two games left in the regular season, Helena possesses 26 points and has locked out second-place Missoula Sentinel (6-2-2, 20 points). Wins and ties are worth 3 and 1 points, respectively.
"Even if we lose our last two games, we still get the No. 1 seed," Meloy said. "That's five, (all) back-to-back."
On the boys' side, Helena and Flathead tied at 2-2.
Bernard Kintzing, assisted by Aidan FitzGerald, planted a shot between the pipes that gave the red-and-white the early advantage. After a pair of scores by Flathead, FitzGerald took a pass from Kintzing right before the half and knotted the game at 2-all. Neither team was able to score after the intermission.
Coach Carl Straub's kickers stand at 5-3-2.
-- Curt Synness
Carroll women best Great Falls in double OT
Last year when the Carroll women's soccer met the University of Great Falls, the two teams battled to a scoreless draw. It was one of just two non-wins on the conference record for the Fighting Saints. When the two teams met at Argo Field in Great Falls on Saturday, the two looked to be heading for another tie, but Talya Vaira slipped past a defender and scored from 12 yards out in the 107th minute to give the Saints a 2-1, double-overtime win.
"We are always a little nervous to play on the road," coach David Thorvilson said. "They had a great crowd today and the weather was great. Both teams had opportunities and in overtime it felt like both teams had opportunities to score. We were just lucky enough to get it."
Carroll dominated possession, notching 17 shots to just three from UGF in the first half. Despite the shot advantage, the Argos scored first on a header from three yards out in the 41st minute to take a 1-0 lead into the half.
Carroll again dominated the shots in the second half, outshooting UGF 14-4 in the second half. The effort finally paid off in the second half when Christina Plank scored in the 79th minute to notch the game at 1-1.
The score would hold through the rest of regulation, but it wasn't without effort from the Saints and a strong game from Argo goalkeeper Kyra Dorvall who made 12 saves on the game.
"We were creating a lot of opportunities and putting a lot of shots on frame but Dorvall had a great game," Thorvilson said. "She is a Helena kid and she was making saves left and right."
The Saints again dominated the shots in the first overtime with six to UGF's one but the second was even at 2-2. It was physical and tightly contested period but the Saints came out on top with the goal in the 107th minute.
Carroll goalkeeper Jamie Carter notched four saves on the game and allowed just the second goal she has allowed all conference season.
The Saints move to 8-3-1 on the season and 6-0-1 in Cascade Conference action. Carroll is first in the Cascade in points with 19, one ahead of Southern Oregon who is 6-0 with one less game under their belts.
The Saints travel for the final road trip of the season next week to face Evergreen and Northwest in Western Washington.
Carroll men edge Argos
Great Falls native Ryan Van Pevenage scored a lone goal to lift Carroll College to a 1-0 win over the University of Great Falls.
Van Pevenage entered game in the 36th minute and took advantage, scoring the game winner in the 43rd to give Carroll the lead and eventually, the win.
“Ryan has been playing well in practice and I wanted to give him a chance to play in his hometown,” coach Doug Mello said. “I am very excited that he came out and played like that and excited that he got that game winner.”
Van Pevenage fleeced a UGF defender of the ball creating a one-on-one with the UGF goalkeeper. When the keeper came out to challenge, Van Pevenage sent the ball over his head and into the net.
The Saints then went into the defensive mode. UGF outshot Carroll 19-10 and 9-4 in shots on goal but the Carroll defense and goalkeeper Bernhardt Di Cino earned the third shutout in four games.
“Jonathon Taylor and Eric Hollanbaugh were all over the place today and Bernie had a cracker of a game,” Mello said. “He made a couple of great saves and a there were a couple of plays were we got the ball right off of the line. Jonathon also made a diving save with his chest that saved the game for us.”
The Saints won three of the last four matches and move to 4-3 in Cascade play and 6-6 overall. The Argos came into Saturday on a four-game win streak. But now fall to 4-3 in Cascade play and 5-5 overall.
“It was a game we needed to win,” Mello said. “Our backs were against the wall against one of the better teams in the conference and we got them at their place. The overall team effort was outstanding. Playing a strong, hard 90 minutes will play dividends. We have to use this as a catalyst as we look ahead to a long road trip ahead.”
The Saints face Northwest and Evergreen State next week in Western Washington. The two teams sit in the top three in the conference at this point in conference play.
Capital soccer splits with Glacier
Spearheaded by a pair of goals from both Cassie Brisko and Brynn Walker, plus the team's never-say-die attitude, Capital's girls overcame Glacier High 5-2 in Kalispell. The win moves first-year coach Lindsey Gilstrap's team to 4-5-1 on the year.
Brisko's goals were assisted by Sydney Sheridan and Jaci Baker. Walker was assisted by Tanlee Pipinich on her first score, while her second tally -- which put the Lady Bruins in front 3-2 in the 57th minute -- turned out to be the winning goal. Capital's fifth marker was an own-goal by the Lady Wolfpack, on a cross by Sheridan.
"The girls battled back from a goal deficit two different times during the game before taking the lead," Gilstrap said. "Despite a slower start, we quickly found our rhythm and played some great soccer. Keeper Aryn Cummings came up with some great saves at critical points, and this was truly a team effort, with every player making significant contributions."
Capital's boys fell behind 2-0 after the first half, but bounced back with a goal of their own after halftime, by Kaycen Spencer, to get within one. Bruin keeper Ethan Buffington posted eight saves.
Coach Paul Patterson's Bruins slide to 4-6-0 on the year.
-- Curt Synness
Jefferson volleyball blanks Big Timber
Jefferson High volleyball improved its record to 10-1 overall on the year, and 6-1 in conference play, with 3-0 victory over Big Timber. Powered by Emily McGinnis' two blocks and 33 kills -- including a school-record 13 in one set -- the Lady Panthers swept past Big Timber 25-16, 25-8, 25-12.
Setter Paige Yanzick passed for a solid 33 assists, while Madilyn Emter posted 17 digs and Ashley Pankratz and Jolie Wood fired two service aces apiece.
"That was our best volleyball of the year by far," JHS coach Mike Majors said.
Townsend splits Saturday doubleheader
Townsend volleyball split a doubleheader on Saturday, losing to Choteau 3-0, before beating Fairfield 3-1.
Versatile Tavia Rooney led the Lady Bulldogs in attacking and defense, with 23 kills and 21 digs. Kara Saltzman passed for 28 assists, and Morgan Nunn was high with five service aces. The block leaders were Jessi Hamlen and Saltzman. Nunn was instrumental in the back row's defense as well.
Bighorns blown out by Quake
For a second consecutive night, Yellowstone started slow and then exploded in the final two periods, blowing past the Helena Bighorns, 7-0 on Saturday in Cody, Wyoming.
The Quake scored just one in the first period, but then lit the lamp four times in the second and another two in the third.
The Quake dominated the stat sheet, ultimately sending 63 shots on net. Helena, meanwhile, managed just 37 – and only five in the first period.
Max Meyer had the best night for Yellowstone, piling up four goals and an assist.