Cats split to open the season

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Jakob Grien goes airborne against two Bigfok defenders last week.

The Columbia Falls boys soccer team opened its season last week with a split. The boys thumped short-handed Bigfork 8-0 Thursday but lost to Frenchtown in their home opener, 3-1, Saturday.

Coach O’Brien Byrd was pleased with the team’s effort against the Broncs, even though they came up short.

“Frenchtown’s a scrappy team with speedy players,” he said. He said the Wildcats just need to shore up a defensive breakdown that allowed the Bronc’s three goals.

Other than that, he was “extremely happy” with the boys.

Frenchtown only had two more shots than the boys.

He said the game was closer than the score would suggest. Jakob Iken scored the lone goal for the Wildcats.

Against Bigfork, the Vikings young program had only one substitute and the Wildcats moved the ball with ease to the net. Jakob Grein and John Gilk each had two goals. Iken had one.

The competition will get tougher this week, as the Cats face Park County High School Friday at home and then Belgrade Saturday. Belgrade is undefeated and Park is a good team as well. Belgrade knocked the Cats out of the playoffs last year.

Columbia Falls 8, Bigfork 0

C. Falls 3 5 — 8

Bigfork 0 0 — 0

CF: Auguste Emond (Jake Grein), 1:00

CF: Alex Garate, pk, 3:00

CF: Tristan Grein (Seth Hoffman), 37:00

CF: John Gilk (Garate), 50:00

CF: Gilk (Garate), 73:00

CF: Jake Grein (Gilk), 75:00

CF: Jakob Iken, 76:00

CF: Jake Grein, pk, 78:00

Shots on goal: Columbia Falls 18, Big Fork 6.

Frenchtown 2 1 — 3

Columbia Falls 0 1 — 1

F — Caleb Stanicar, 24:00

F — Braydon Simpson, 36:00

CF — Jakob Iken, 59:00

F — Tanner Fields, 75:00

Shots on goal — Frenchtown 14, Columbia Falls 12; Corner kicks — Frenchtown 8, Columbia Falls 2; Goalie saves — Frenchtown 5 (Quinn Murphy), Columbia Falls 9 (Story Stemborski); Fouls — Frenchtown 13, Columbia Falls 12; Cards — None.

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