By Gabrielle Gasser EBS STAFF
BIG SKY – On September 17, the boys’ soccer team defeated the Laurel Locomotives in a high-energy match while the Lady Big Horns fell to the Lady Locomotives in a tough game.
The evening marked the first home games of the year for the Big Horns soccer teams on the new grass field. The energy was high with athletes from the volleyball and football teams filling the stands to cheer on their peers.
âThe men’s soccer team was thrilled and honored to be the first team to play on the new field,â head coach Tony Coppola wrote in an email to EBS. “The school and the entire student body were at their peak.”
The boys’ team entered the field first at 3 p.m. to enter the game with confidence having already beaten the Locomotives 2-1 on September 7.
Throughout the match, the crowd remained engaged, informing the referees when they made unpopular calls. On the pitch, the Big Horns did an excellent job of communicating with their teammates and mostly played in attack on the Locomotives side.
LPHS junior captain Max Romney scored the first goal on the new turf when he followed a second-year Cash Beattie free kick, putting the Big Horns 1-0 early in the first half. Big Horns sophomore Colter Smit scored the second goal, also in the first half, on a huge punt from second-year goaltender Sawyer Wolfe.
Good footwork from Beattie and rookie Finn McRae helped the Horns control the game.
The Locomotives responded to the Big Horns’ lead in the second half with their own goal, briefly shifting the momentum in their favor. However, the Big Horns shut down the Locomotives for the remainder of the game, allowing no more goals.
âThe boys were excited, I was excited and it was great to have the win over Laurel,â said Coppola. “At the start of 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 a 2-1 win for the night and improved their win-lose-tie record to 3-2-1 for the season.
The Lady Big Horns took to the pitch at 5 p.m. to face the Lady Locomotives.
Starting off with high energy fueled by cheering crowds, sophomore Astrid McGuire scored the game’s first goal three minutes into the first half. The Lady Locomotives responded with two quick goals and kept the momentum going and setting the pace for the rest of the game.
Much of the play was focused on the end of Lady Big Horn’s field, with junior goalie Josie Wilcynski making superb saves and missing some tough shots from the Locomotives.
It was a tough night for the Lady Big Horns, with senior Carly Wilson injured in the first half and Wilcynski taking a big knee in the ribs during a save at the end of the second half. Wilson and Wilcynski both returned to the field to end the game with the crowd expressing their support for Wilcynski for his courageous play despite his injury.
The evening was marked by outstanding performances from Wilson and Wilcynski as well as superb kicks from junior Skylar Manka and strong defense from junior Avery Dickerson.
It was a tough game with strong emotions and the Lady Big Horns finally fell to the Lady Locomotives 10-1. The Lady Bighorns are still looking to land a W in their regular conference game.
The two teams will then meet in Frenchtown today, September 18.