For Bledy Doda and Zach Brenneman, this was quite the first impression.
Flathead’s two new soccer coaches — Doda for the girls and Brenneman the boys — led their teams to a pair of one-sided wins against their crosstown rivals on a splendid Thursday night at Legends Stadium, with the Bravettes rolling Glacier 4-1 and the Braves following with a 4-2 win of their own.
It was the first career coaching win for Doda and it came courtesy of a big night for sophomore striker Skyleigh Thompson, who ran wild in the Wolfpack end and scored her first three goals of the regular season. An all-state selection as a freshman, Thompson showed a deft touch and breakaway speed throughout the match, tallying her first two goals in quick succession in the 15th and 17th minutes. Just four minutes after that, she found her older sister Shayenn for another goal to make it 3-0.
Glacier (0-1-0) would answer the elder Thompson’s tally less than a minute later, with Madison Becker finishing off a Taylor Brisendine cross to put the Wolfpack on the board. And later in the first half, Glacier had a pair of phenomenal scoring chances, on a breakaway in the 30th minute and from point-blank range just before halftime, but could not find the back of the net.
In the second half, Flathead’s defense kept the Wolfpack under wraps and Skyleigh Thompson secured her hat trick in the 78th minute.
The win is the first for the Bravettes (1-1-0) over Glacier in the regular season since 2015, when Flathead swept the Wolfpack. Aaris Hill made 10 saves to earn the victory in goal.
The boys game got off to an inauspicious start for Flathead, with Glacier’s Dyllyn Stabler bolting through the Braves defense and earning a penalty kick in the game’s second minute. Stabler took the penalty and delivered a ball on frame, but Flathead senior keeper Max Warnell was up to the challenge and made a terrific, leaping save to keep the match scoreless.
From there, it was all Flathead (2-0-0). Colter Goss scored to get the Braves started in the 15th minute and A.J. Apple added another two minutes later. After Glacier’s Connor Griffin pulled the Wolfpack (0-1-0) within one in the 20th minute, the Braves would tack on two more goals before halftime, from Eric Gardner and Apple.
Flathead has won its first two regular season games by a combined 10-2 score and went 2-0 at the season-opening Great Falls Jamboree, a performance that included a victory against defending Eastern Conference champion Billings Senior.
The win is the Braves first in the crosstown series in the last four matches.
Glacier’s boys and girls will have little time to sit with their setbacks, as they will travel to take on Missoula Big Sky on Sept. 1. The Braves and Bravettes are idle until Sept. 7 when both teams visit Helena High.