Knights earn third straight state soccer title


MISSOULA, Mont. - The Hellgate boys soccer team ended their season as the top team in the state, again. The Knights defeated Glacier High 4-2 in extra time to claim the state title for an impressive third season in a row.

The tight battles was deadlocked 1-1 after regulation. Glacier took a brief 2-1 advantage in the first overtime, but Hellgate followed that up with three unanswered goals to take the crown.

"They all feel pretty good but this one is kind of up there because we came back from 2-1 down," said Knights junior Matthew Baldrige about winning his third state championship. "We came back, we fought hard and we did it as a team."

Making this title more special for Hellgate was getting to win the tournament at home in Missoula.

"This one might be the most satisfying because we got to do it in town," said Hellgate head coach Jay Anderson. "It was great to have all these fans out there. They were loud, they were proud of Hellgate and it was great to see."

The Hellgate boys soccer program has now won four state AA soccer titles, all of which have come over the past seven years. In 2018 the Knights, who will return several key players, have the opportunity to be the first Montana boys soccer team to ever win four state titles in a row.

"It sets a great future for our next team to get four and be the first team to do that," said senior Rylan Compton. "To continue their journey to four, that is amazing."

Hellgate, including the postseason, finished the year with a record of 13-1-1 this season.