HELENA — Spearheaded by Glacier High's Cadie Williams' hat-trick, the West Team defeated the East 4-1 in the girls game at the 19th annual Shodair Soccer Classic.
Williams' outstanding performance in Nelson Stadium on Saturday earned her the game's MVP and a $1,000 Scholarship from Shodair Hospital.
All three of the 5-foot-4 Wolfpack goals were assisted by Helena area players, two from Katie Martin of state champion Helena, on a header off a corner kick in the 14th minute and in the 79th minute, and one from Capital's Ashley Carlson.
"It was an awesome experience, this is really a special event, I had a blast," said Williams, who led the state in scoring last fall with 33 goals and was selected Montana's 2017 Female Gatorade Player of the Year. "We (the West team) had a lot of good chemistry out there."
She described Martin as a "great player" and said the ball she received from Carlson was "an excellent pass."
"After I took the ball from Ashley, I turned and saw an opening, and just took a hit and it went in," said Williams on the goal that put the West up 2-0 in the 27th minute and turned out to be the deciding score.
Glacier teammate Ellie Stevens scored in the 49th minute to put the West up 3-0. Kelsey Hogan of CM Russell broke up the shutout late in the second half, shaking the net for the East in the 65th minute.
The West out-shot their opponents 15-8 with some of the closer attempts coming from Williams, Martin, Carlson, Helena's Alanna Vickory, Macy Sandefer of Columbia Falls and Big Sky's Mackenzie Morrison and Jasmine Schreckendgust.
Coming the closest to scoring for the East were Hogan, Justine Roe of Skyview, and Bozeman's Keely Kempt.
West goal keeper Tanlee Pipinich (Capital) posted five saves, while the East's Paige O'Toole (Laurel) and Kiara Stiles (Billings West) combined for 10 stops.
The West, under coach Mike Meloy, was playing with just 14 players — compared to the East's 18 members — meaning they only had three players on the bench to rotate into the game, which was contested in 89-degree heat.
But the West's defense was up to the task of helping its midfielders hold the opposition to a single score. Making up the back line in front of Pipinich were Cailyn Wall and Leanna Markovics of Helena High, Glacier's Stevens and Lindsay McDonald and Schreckendgust.
"I thought we did a really good job as a defensive front, we moved and played well as a team, especially for never playing together prior," Wall said. "Everyone worked for one another and that opened the game up for our offense. It was an awesome opportunity to play along side these very talented ladies."
Meloy explained how his strategy to keep his players from exhaustion was utilizing the versatility of the talented group.
"These kids can play any position, so we kept moving them around, mostly to give the wings, who do most of the running, a break," Meloy said. "You could see the last 10 minutes of both halves we were running out of gas. But that kind of talent makes up for conditioning."
East coach Cameron Icenoggle of Skyview said that "both teams played well," and he thought his crew "was awesome" for just two practices.
"It was a fun game, and the defense kept building as the game went along — on the whole they played solid," Icenoggle said.