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Big Sky, Sentinel girls battle to draw

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Missoula girls' soccer is fit to be tied.

Big Sky's Raegan McDowell netted a penalty kick in extra time on Tuesday to forge a 2-2 deadlock with upstart Sentinel at the Big Sky field.

That came after Big Sky and Hellgate tied 3-3 on Sept. 14 and Sentinel and Hellgate finished with a 2-2 score five days later. For the first time, Missoula must unofficially crown tri-city champions, although the deadlock could possibly be broken in a playoff or state tournament matchup.

"Both teams were fighting hard every bit of the way. Unfortunately for us, time didn't run out fast enough," said Julio Morales, whose Spartans are 4-1-2.

"This team never ceases to surprise me in the way that, when we need goals, we find a way to get them," Big Sky coach Dave Oberbillig said after the Eagles (5-0-2) came back twice.

All the scoring came in the final 15 minutes.

Sentinel's Whitney Maphis scored on Hillary Swanson's feed to make it 1-0. Tera Anderson headed in Jenna Dwiggins' corner kick for Big Sky five minutes later to tie it.

In about the 78th minute, Desi Stensland gave the Spartans the lead again, coming up with the ball and the goal after a corner kick from Stephanie Woodard.

That put Sentinel in position to beat Big Sky for the first time since Oberbillig began coaching the Eagles in 1993.

"When the other team scores with just a few minute left in the match and your team's a little bit down from that, obviously you wonder if they're going to be able to come back, especially with Sentinel having defended well all game," Oberbillig said.

With neither team or the spectators certain of the exact time remaining, the Eagles turned up the heat. The unofficial scoreboard clock didn't run after the 2-minute mark.

Big Sky keeper Taylor Cathey punted, and McDowell controlled the ball in the midfield area near the right-hand side. She hit what Oberbillig called "an amazing cross-in - off-balance and 35 yards from the center of the field."

The ball bounced off a Sentinel player's arm and hand ball was called.

"I think it was the right call to make at the time," Morales said.

McDowell, three times an all-stater for the Eagles, planted the 12-yard penalty kick into the right corner of the goal for the tie. It was her seventh goal in three games.

"It was definitely heartbreaking but, hey, like I told the girls, we played 80 minutes of great soccer," Morales said.



Corvallis 2, Hamilton 1: At Corvallis, the young Blue Devils won for the first time in two years when Jesse Sheets fed her sister, Jodie, in the 59th minute. Corvallis keeper Morgan Johnson had a shutout going until the closing minutes, when Margaret Sellers tallied for Hamilton. The only other victory for the fourth-year Corvallis program was a 4-0 decision of Libby in 1998, when Jesse Sheets scored the school's historic first goal. The Blue Devils (1-6-1 this fall) have played to six ties since then. Hamilton dropped to 0-6-1.

Stevensville 1, Polson 1: At Polson, Stevensville was foiled in its quest of consecutive victories for the first time since the start of 1997. Polson (1-4-2) scored first on a goal by Lily Coble five minutes into the game but was shut out the rest of the way. Coralynn Jones answered with a goal of her own five minutes into the second half. The Yellowjackets are 3-4-1.


Corvallis 2, Hamilton 1: At Corvallis, Eric Gates scored with an assist from Russell Jessop roughly seven minutes from the end to give Corvallis (3-2-3) the victory over Bitterroot Valley rival Hamilton. Just minutes earlier, Jessop scored with help from Gates to tie the game at 1-1. Peter Crane scored for Hamilton (1-6-0) in the 11th minute. Three players received yellow cards in the battle and Corvallis' Jon Stephani broke his hand. Gates' game-winning goal came on a breakaway after he received a pass off Jessop's head. Corvallis keeper Keith Heggaton made 10 saves.

Stevensville 1, Polson 0: At Polson, the Yellowjackets notched their first win of the season when Zach Carie scored on a header off a corner kick in the 68th minute. Jacob Noonan earned the shutout in goal for Stevi (1-8). Eric Lund stopped five shots for Polson (2-4-1).

Tuesday's summaries


Stevensville 1, Polson 0

Stevensville 0 1 - 1
Polson 0 0 - 0

S - Zach Carie (Kevin Burwick) 68:00

Shots - Stevensville 5, Polson 8. Corners - Stevensville 3, Polson 3. Saves - Stevensville 4 (Jacob Noonan 4), Polson 5 (Eric Lund 5). Total fouls - Stevensville 7, Polson 14. Red cards - none.

Corvallis 2, Hamilton 1

Hamilton 1 0 - 1
Corvallis 0 2 - 2

H - Peter Crane (Kyle Melton) 11:00

C - Russell Jessop (Eric Gates) 65:00

C - Gates (Jessop) 73:00

Shots - Hamilton 11, Corvallis 13. Corners - Hamilton 5, Corvallis 5. Saves - Hamilton 11 (Adam Ducharme 11), Corvallis 10 (Keith Heggaton 10).


Missoula Sentinel 2, Missoula Big Sky 2

Sentinel 0 2 - 2
Big Sky 0 2 - 2

S - Whitney Maphis (Hillary Swanson) 66:00

BS - Tera Anderson (Jenna Dwiggens) 71:00

S - Desi Stensland (Stephanie Woodard) 77:00

BS - Raegan McDowell (penalty kick) 80:00

Shots - Sentinel 9, Big Sky 26. Corners - Sentinel 2, Big Sky 3. Saves - Sentinel 10 (Chris Mahler 10), Big Sky 8 (Taylor Cathey 8). Total fouls - Sentinel 17, Big Sky 8. Red cards - none.

Corvallis 2, Hamilton 1

Hamilton 0 1 - 1
Corvallis 1 1 - 2

C - Erika Stewart (Alysia Perkins) 23:00

C - Jodie Sheets (Jesse Sheets) 59:00

H - Margaret Sellers 80:00

Shots - Hamilton 12, Corvallis 6. Corners - Hamilton 3, Corvallis 7. Saves - Hamilton 2 (Vanessa Wood), Corvallis 8 (Morgan Johnson 8). Fouls - Hamilton 7, Corvallis 6. Red cards - None.

Polson 1, Stevensville 1

Stevensville 0 1 - 1
Polson 1 0 - 1

P - Lily Coble (Brittany Scott) 5:00

S - Coralynn Jones (Jamie Brown) 45:00

Shots - Stevensville 10, Polson 14. Corners - Stevensville 3, Polson 6. Saves - Stevensville 7 (Julie Kleese 7), Polson 8 (Lena Dailey 8). Total fouls - Stevensville 4, Polson 6. Red cards - none.

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