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LPHS Varsity soccer teams split games against Laurel

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Sophomore Colter Smit dribbles the ball up the field. PHOTO BY GABRIELLE GASSER

By Gabrielle Gasser EBS STAFF

BIG SKY – On Sept. 17, the boys’ soccer team defeated the Laurel Locomotives in a high-energy game while the Lady Big Horns fell to the Lady Locomotives in a tough matchup.    

The evening marked the first home games of the year for the Big Horns soccer teams on the new turf field. The energy was high with athletes from the volleyball and football teams filling the stands to cheer on their peers. 

“The men’s soccer team was excited and honored to be the first team to play on the new field,” wrote Head Coach Tony Coppola in an email to EBS. “The school and entire student body were at a fever pitch.”

The boys team took the field first at 3 p.m. coming into the game with confidence after having already defeated the Locomotives 2-1 on Sept. 7. 

The stands were filled with parents, LPHS students and athletes cheering on their peers. PHOTO BY GABRIELLE GASSER

Throughout the game the crowd stayed engaged, letting the refs know when they made unpopular calls. On the field, the Big Horns did a great job of communicating with their teammates and mostly played offence down on the Locomotives end of the pitch. 

Junior LPHS captain Max Romney scored the first goal on the new turf when he followed up a free kick by sophomore Cash Beattie, putting the Big Horns up 1-0 early in the first half. Big Horns sophomore Colter Smit scored the second goal, also in the first half, off a huge punt from sophomore goalkeeper Sawyer Wolfe. 

Sophomore Cash Beattie leads an offensive drive against the Locomotives. PHOTO BY GABRIELLE GASSER

Some good footwork by Beattie and freshman Finn McRae helped the Horns to control play.

The Locomotives answered the Big Horns’ lead in the second half with a goal of their own, briefly swinging the momentum in their favor. However, the Big Horns shut the Locomotives down for the rest of the game allowing no more goals.

“The boys were excited, I was excited and it felt great to get the win over Laurel,” Coppola said. “Going into the game Laurel was ahead of us in the Eastern conference standings and to keep our playoff hopes alive we needed the win.”

The Big Horns delivered with a 2-1 victory for the evening and improved their record, win-loss-tie, to 3-2-1 for the season. 

The Lady Big Horns took over the pitch at 5 p.m. to face off against the Lady Locomotives.

Starting off with high energy fueled by cheers from the crowd, sophomore Astrid McGuire scored the first goal of the game three minutes into the first half. The Lady Locomotives answered with two rapid goals of their own and maintained the momentum and set the pace the rest of the game. 

Junior Josie Wilcynski makes a great save against Lady Locomotive Grace Wagner. PHOTO BY GABRIELLE GASSER

Play was largely focused down on the Lady Big Horn’s end of the pitch with junior goalkeeper Josie Wilcynski making some great saves and missing some tough shots by the Locomotives. 

It was a tough evening for the Lady Big Horns with senior Carly Wilson being injured in the first half and Wilcynski taking a big knee to the ribs during a save right at the end of the second half. Both Wilson and Wilcynski returned to the field to finish the game with the crowd voicing lots of support for Wilcynski for her brave play despite her injury. 

Junior Avery Dickerson boots the ball out of Big Horn territory. PHOTO BY GABRIELLE GASSER

The evening was marked by some standout performances by Wilson and Wilcynski as well as some great kicking by junior Skylar Manka and solid defense by junior Avery Dickerson.

It was a tough game with emotions running high and the Lady Big Horns ultimately fell to the Lady Locomotives 10-1. The Lady Bighorns are still looking to snag a W in their regular conference play.

Both teams will compete next in Frenchtown today, Sept. 18. 

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