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By Ed Moreth 

Clark Fork soccer celebrates seniors


October 13, 2022

Erika Lawyer

IN FOR A POINT – Cheney Lowe of Clark Fork Soccer Alliance moves in for a goal against Whitefish for a 3-1 win at Amundson Sports Complex in Plains. 

The Clark Fork Soccer Alliance girls team finished their last home game with a victory over the Whitefish High School Bulldogs at Plains on Saturday.

With a 3-1 win over the Bulldogs junior varsity team, the Clark Fork Soccer Alliance U18 players now have eight wins, one loss and no ties. Nick Lawyer, the Clark Fork Soccer Alliance coach, said the JV Bulldogs have the best defensive records in the state with five wins, three losses and two ties.

"Our girls tried and tried to pick them apart but we couldn't pull a player out of position or unlock their defense. It took a moment of magic from Maddie Toyas (of Thompson Falls) who pounced on a loose ball and unleashed a rocket that grazed under the crossbar for our opening goal," said Lawyer, who added that later in the first half Chesney Lowe, also of Thompson Falls, and Clarie Wrobleski of Plains, and the team's leading scorer, slipped two by the Whitefish keeper for a 3-0 lead at halftime. It wasn't until the second half that the Bulldogs were able to get on the board.

Saturday's game was also "Senior Day" for several members – Ocean Hyde, Chesney Lowe, Candace Manuel, Hailee Nelson, Anna Hafner, Gunnar Ganarrelli, Jacob Britt, and Chesley Ramers. "Senior Day was awesome! Families and friends visited from everywhere to celebrate," said Hyde. "Soccer is fun, but winning is really fun, and we did a lot of that this weekend," she added.

The girls will compete in the Western Montana Classic Divisional Tournament in Kalispell on Saturday. The tournament is comprised of the top three teams in the western region, which this year will include Stillwater High School, Petra High School, and Clark Fork Soccer Alliance. The Plains team goes into the one-day tournament as the number one seed. Lawyer said the tourney will have group play in the morning and championship play in the afternoon. The team's final game of the season will be Saturday, Oct. 22, at Browning.

The girls team swept Stillwater, Columbia Falls, Whitefish, Bozeman, and Hamilton with their only loss in Bigfork. The team took on Columbia Falls Friday night and shut them out 6-0. "They played some of their best soccer. They were calm and patient on the ball and they attacked with speed and intention," said Lawyer. "We threw a tactical wrinkle at Columbia Falls and they really couldn't compensate," he said. Katherine Wrobleski went into the game as center forward. "She was popping up all over the place finding pockets of space and ripping their back line apart," said Lawyer. Wrobleski scored two goals and was directly involved in three more.

"And if it wasn't for the Columbia Falls' goalkeeper standing on her head we easily could have had more goals," said Lawyer. "Again and again the Columbia Falls attackers went at us, and our defense of Haylee Nelson, Maddie Carter, and Ireland Corbin just shut them down," added Lawyer, who also said the girls still need to work on recycling possession through their defense and keeper.

The Clark Fork Soccer Alliance U19 boys played a dynamic and feisty game in Columbia Falls Friday night, winning 7-2. They faced Whitefish Saturday morning and won 7-2. A had rematch against Columbia Falls and beat them 9-4. "I felt the boys played with a competitive edge and are developing more consistency in possession," said the boys coach, Joshua Allday.


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