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HELENA — The first intracity girls soccer game turned out to be a defensive battle, as Capital High and Helena played to a scoreless tie, Tuesday at Nelson Stadium.

The defending state champion Lady Bengals are now 2-1-2 on the year, while Capital High's girls are sitting at 1-3-1.

Perhaps the most dangerous scoring opportunity on the day belonged to Capital High's Cassie Brisko, who fired a shot that went over Helena goalkeeper Ashlin Slanger but hit the crossbar flush and bounced straight back.

Helena High would go on to hold an advantage in shots on goal overall, with some of their better attempts coming from Claire Benedetti, Maddie Mariegard, Grace Lawlor and Elsa Grebenc. Their defense was anchored by Odessa Zentz, Quinn Benedetti, Kaiya Newby, Emelie Maes and keeper Slanger.

A few of Capital High's near-misses belonged to Taylor Cornwell and Paris Prissel. Holding down back line were Tyler Cummings, Lindsey Ehlke, Lili Keeton, Bella Melton and goalkeeper Rachel Kosena.

"We had 22 shots on goal but we just couldn't convert," Bengals coach Mike Meloy stated. "I felt we did an excellent job of possession and moving the ball on the ground. And the back line was great at winning the ball back, which you have to have in order to maintain possession."

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Lady Bruins coach Lindsey Gilstrap said that "it may not have been the prettiest game, but these ladies battled to the very end, and they should be proud of the gritty performance" they delivered.

"Our back line really stepped up and played aggressively, and Rachel Kosena was a force to be reckoned with in goal. A number of the new varsity players and current JV players made significant contributions on the field today," the CHS skipper said. "This tie was certainly a win in our book."

Capital next plays Sept. 18 for a home tilt against Missoula Sentinel, while Helena High travels to Missoula to play Big Sky on Thursday.

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Curt Synness is on Twitter @curtsynness_IR and can be reached at curt.synness@lee.net or curt52synness@gmail.com

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