When the Columbia Falls girls soccer team played Stevensville earlier this season, they racked up the shots, but couldn’t find the back of the net in a game that ended in a tie.
In the quarterfinal round of the state A playoffs at home Saturday, the Lady Wildcats left no doubt, as both senior Hannah Callendar and sophomore Josie Windauer had hat tricks in a 6-0 win.
Callendar, who was moved to forward, scored two minutes into the game and Windauer scored at the 20-minute mark on after a shot by Callendar careened off the top of the crossbar, to make it 2-0 at the break.
Coach O’Brien Byrd said that they noticed Stevi was playing their back line up, so they made some adjustments on offense which helped put the game away as both Callendar and Windauer scored two goals apiece in the second half.
“The second half we made some significant adjustments,” Byrd said. “They’re back line was very high.”
The Cats defense also had their best game of the season. Keeper Madeline Jarvis made some clutch saves to preserve the shutout.
Byrd said Callendar had played midfield all season and did an admirable job, never complaining even though she wanted to be a forward. As a forward in the playoff game, she rose to the occasion as Hannah Gedlaman moved back and played center mid.
“I was proud of (Callendar),” he said. “She’s been a self-less player.”
The squad now faces longtime playoff foe Billings Central in the semifinals in Billings Saturday. Game time is 11 a.m.
It should be a classic.
“They match up really well against us,” Byrd said.
He said the strategy will be to be aggressive against the Lady Rams.
“We’re going to open up the game against them,” he said.
Central blanked the Cats last year in the first round of the playoffs. The last time Columbia Falls beat Central in the playoffs was in 2014 — a 3-2 win on the road in the semis. If the Cats can get past the Rams, they’d host the state championship.
“We have all the motivation in the world to go for the win,” Byrd said.
Stevensville 0 0 — 0
Columbia Falls 2 4 — 6
CF — Hannah Callender (Hannah Gedlaman), 2:00
CF — Josie Windauer (Callender), 20:00
CF — Callender (Gedlaman), 50:00
CF — Callender (Joyce Hatfield), 59:00
CF — Windauer (Kaylee Ashe), 64:00
CF — Windauer (Gedlaman), 77:00
Shots on goal — Columbia Falls 24, Stevensville 9. Corner kicks — Columbia Falls 9, Stevensville 2. Goalie saves — Columbia Falls (Madeline Jarvis) 9, Stevensville (McKenzie Brownlee) 18. Fouls — Columbia Falls 9, Stevensville 5. Cards — None.