Polson’s boys outlasted gritty Columbia Falls in a shootout while the Whitefish girls avenged a late-season loss to the Pirates in a pair of Class A state tournament play-in matches on Oct. 9.
The girls match in Whitefish was a rematch of a contest played just five days earlier, when Polson spoiled the Bulldogs chance at the Northern A conference championship with a 2-0 win. That result gave Columbia Falls the league title, and an automatic berth in the state tournament, setting up Tuesday’s play-in tilt. This time around, Whitefish dominated from the get-go and won 4-0 behind goals from Emma Barron, Ali Hirsch, Olivia Potthoff and Abby Lowry.
In the boys match, home-standing Polson survived a stiff challenge on its home field to avoid a major upset and advance to the state tourney. The Pirates (11-1-1) lost just once during the regular season — to undefeated conference champion Whitefish — but were pushed to the brink by a game Wildcats (5-7-0) squad. The two teams finished overtime tied 2-2 before Polson pulled out the victory by a 6-5 margin in penalty kicks. Robin Erickson scored twice in regulation for the Pirates. Jason Albin and John Gilk had the Columbia Falls goals.
The eight-team Class A state soccer tournament begins Saturday. The full schedule is below.
CLASS A STATE TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINALS
Saturday, Oct. 13
2E Laurel at 1N Columbia Falls, 1 p.m.
3E Belgrade at 1S Missoula Loyola-Sacred Heart, 11 a.m.
3S Corvallis at 1E Billings Central, 1 p.m.
2S Hamilton at 2N Whitefish, TBD
2E Livingston at 1N Whitefish, 11 a.m.
3E Laurel at 1S Frenchtown, 1 p.m.
3S Hamilton at 1E Belgrade, Noon
2S Missoula Loyola at 2N Polson, TBD