State A Soccer Championship Series
Billings Central (10-1-2) at Stevensville (12-0-1), 3 p.m. – This should be quite a contest; there is a lot of history in this one. Stevensville opened its season with a 3-1 win over the Rams, and then reeled off 10 more victories before Corvallis played the Yellowjackets to a draw in the final match of the regular season. Central, meanwhile, has gone 8-0-2 since the loss and will look to repeat last year’s performance when the Rams beat Stevensville 4-0 in the semifinals. Joseph Daniels leads the way with 14 goals for the Yellowjackets, while Brandon Peterson has a team-high 12 goals for Central.
Livingston (8-5-0) at Belgrade (7-5-1), noon – This is an all-Eastern A affair, giving the league three of the four semifinalists, and it should be another dandy. Livingston shocked the Class A ranks by upsetting two-time defending state champion Whitefish 4-0 in the semifinals behind two goals from Daniel Newhouse, who now has 14 on the season. Belgrade, meanwhile, scored three first-half goals to beat Hamilton 3-1 in its quarterfinal, getting two goals from Chris Brayton. Brayton’s 21 goals tops Class A. Livingston and Belgrade split their –regular-season series: The Panthers won the first match 3-2, while Livingston took the second, 6-5.
Billings Central (13-0-0) at Hamilton (12-0-1), noon – Might this be a state championship-caliber matchup? Could be, considering the five-time defending state champion Rams and the Broncs were the only unbeaten teams in Class A girls soccer. Hamilton got a boost with the return of Lillia Moore last week, who scored two goals in the Broncs’ 3-0 first-round win over Columbia Falls. Moore, who had four goals before getting injured Sept. 14, adds punch to the Broncs’ offense that already ranked third in goals scored behind Central and Frenchtown. The Rams, though, got another clean sheet in their 5-0 win over Polson last week. Central has allowed just four goals in its 13 matches. And the Rams are no offensive slouches, either: Five players scored in the win over Polson.
Frenchtown (8-4-1) at Whitefish (11-2-0) , 2 p.m. – Frenchtown’s Abbey Teagle continued her torrid season when she had a hand in all 10 goals scored by the Broncs in their play-in win Tuesday and their first-round win over Laurel last Saturday. In all, Teagle has scored 29 goals this season, second only to Central’s Allie Lucas (31), and she teams with fellow sophomore Brooke Yarnall (20 goals) to form a potent 1-2 punch. Frenchtown, though, concedes a lot of goals (38 of them so far), which could be good news for the likes of Whitefish freshman Haley Nicholson, who has scored 17 goals this season.