SOCCER: Crosstown has playoff ramifications

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There’s a lot on the line tonight when Flathead and Glacier meet at Legends Stadium for the final crosstown soccer games of the season.

All four teams, clearly, are playing for civic bragging rights, but playoff seeding is on the line entering the final weekend of the regular season.

The Glacier boys have won four straight games, and are looking to seal the second seed in the Western AA and a spot at state.

The Wolfpack has excelled behind the leadership of seniors Brady Schultz and Rohit Tappeta, who each have nine goals and six assists this season. Most recently, the two combined for both goals in a 2-1 comeback win over Missoula Sentinel on Tuesday.

Schultz scored the first of three goals for Glacier in the 3-3 draw with Flathead earlier this year. Ryan Symmes scored in the final 10 minutes to give Glacier a lead in the contest before Flathead’s Hanson Eystad scored his second goal of the game in the final minute to equalize.

Eystad has been the top scorer all season for the Braves, the senior scoring 12 goals and 26 points this year.

If Flathead is able to at least earn another tie, it would put itself in pole position to host a playoff game next week. The Braves are locked up with Sentinel in fourth place, with a game in hand, and a win or tie tonight would give Flathead the advantage entering Saturday’s game with the Spartans. The teams will play each other again next week for a spot at state.

The Glacier girls are also playing for seeding tonight, seeking to lock up the second spot in the West behind Helena High.

The Wolfpack got back in the win column this week after losing three straight games, and did so in fantastic fashion. Glacier senior Cadie Williams scored a school-record six goals in a 9-3 win over Sentinel on Tuesday.

Williams is the state’s top scorer, with 22 goals and 51 points this season. She had the lone goal in Glacier’s 1-0 win over Flathead earlier this year.

Flathead is still winless this season, but has played close in nearly every game, losing four games by one goal. The Thompson sisters, junior Shayenn and freshman Skyleigh, have been the catalysts all season for the Bravettes, Shayenne scoring eight goals and Skyleigh seven.

The Bravettes are locked into their seeding but have a chance to affect who it is they play in next week’s play-in. If Flathead can close the gap and beat or tie Glacier, it would open the chance for Helena Capital to catch the Wolfpack in its final two games. That possibility would set up another crosstown game next week, the final one of the season, for a chance at state.

Both games will be played under the lights at Legends Stadium, with the girls game scheduled to start at 6 p.m. and the boys at 8.

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