Soccer teams drop Polson twice, but lose to rival Bulldogs

by TERESA BYRD
Staff Writer | October 7, 2020 12:10 AM

Columbia Falls had an up and down week in soccer. Last Tuesday the teams dropped Polson with the girls winning 6-2 and the boys 5-2, at home. Both teams had slow starts, ending their halftimes in ties, only to come back strong in the last half. For girls varsity, the Lady Pirates scored within the first couple minutes followed shortly by a goal from Maddie Robison and another by Hope McAtee. Polson then scored in the 30th minute to tie it 2-2 at halftime. The Wildkats shut out the Pirates for the rest of the match with Cheyanne Johnston-Heinz scoring first in the second half followed by another goal from Robison. The Kats scored an exciting fifth goal when Robison kicked a perfect assist to McAtee who made the shot with a header. Robison scored the last goal, notching yet another hat trick for the season.

For boys varsity, senior Jason Albin scored midway through the first half. Polson scored with six minutes left to tie it 1-1 at halftime. Finley Sundberg scored next with a header on an assist from Albin, followed by an unassisted goal from Niels Getts. Polson scored their second goal midway through the last half, bringing it to 3-2. The Cats then took it away with Sundberg and Albin scoring two more to finish the game.

The Wildcats turned around to play Polson again on Thursday only to repeat their victories, with the girls trouncing the Pirates 14-4 and the boys shutting them out 3-0. The Cats finished the week on a lower note with both teams dropping their games to Whitefish on Saturday.

It was the first loss of the season for the Wildcat boys, who had tied Whitefish earlier, but ended up getting shut out by the Bulldogs 5-0. The Cats held their own against the reigning state champs for the first period, keeping it 0-0 until halftime, but once the second half began, the Bulldogs scored all five goals in the first twenty minutes.

“It was a good old fashioned spanking,” said boys’ head coach O’Brien Byrd.

“It was harsh. It was definitely embarrassing because we’re not that bad, where we deserve to lose 5-0. Whitefish is a very good team but they’re not that good, they’re not 5-0 good. So we got to learn a big lesson, and I really think that the boys can turn this into a learning opportunity and I believe they will.”

The loss ended the Cats’ chances of winning the conference and put them on a more difficult side of the bracket for the playoffs, but Byrd is undeterred.

“We truly believe that Columbia Falls and Whitefish are the two best teams in the state,” said Byrd. “So, I think we’ll be all right.”

It was the second loss of the season for the Wildcat girls, whose only other defeat was against Whitefish several weeks ago.

“It was a hard-fought game, a back and forth battle, a 2-1 loss, which is always hard,” said head girls’ coach Thomas Clark after Saturday’s match. “But it was a great game, it’s always fun to get to go play Whitefish. They’re a very good team and they’re very well coached and it’s a game that we can learn from and we’re excited to finish out the regular season and get ready for the playoffs.”

On Tuesday night (Oct. 6) both teams blanked hapless Libby, 9-0.