Laurel boys drop close one to undefeated Belgrade

By: 
DAVID KEYES
Outlook publisher
Laurel JV player Sam Little launches the ball Monday night versus Senior in the last JV game of the year.
Laurel JV player Sam Little launches the ball Monday night versus Senior in the last JV game of the year.

The Laurel Locomotives are getting better in every game, the only real question is will they put their stingy defense and prolific offense together in the same game.

Senior Luis Vega leads the Eastern A in goals this season but couldn’t find the net Saturday as LHS boys’ soccer team scared the best team in Eastern A but came out on the short end of a 1-0 decision with Belgrade.

The Panthers remain undefeated going into the last weekend of league play while the Locomotives have to win or tie Central High on Thursday and then defeat Livingston on Saturday to stay alive.

Central is getting better as the season progresses as well and there is a real prospect that Laurel and Central will meet next week for a play-in game to qualify for the state tournament.

Laurel traveled to Belgrade last Saturday knowing the Panthers haven’t lost a game all year. The 7-0 hosts are beatable but Laurel couldn’t find a goal and could only manage three real shots on goal. 

“We had our chances and we couldn’t break through,” said LHS coach Leroy VanderPool. 

The Locos kept Belgrade’s offense off the scoreboard the first half of the game and most of the second half.

Belgrades’ Josiah Russell broke the tie with the only score of the game in the 61st minute.

“Our defense did well,” VanderPool said. “This is a tough team to score against and I thought we held our own with one of the two best teams in the state.”

With that close loss left behind, VanderPool is focused on Central. LHS played Central close the first time the team’s met and he expects the same type of game in Billings.

The boys play Thursday at 3 p.m. at Rocky Mountain College’s grass field on Poly.

“This is going to be a good game,” he said. “We want to win and we need to win.”

 

Belgrade 1, Laurel 0

Belgrade 0  1  —  1

Laurel 0  0  —  0

B: Josiah Russell, 61:19

Shots: Belgrade 13, Laurel 5. Shots on goal: Belgrade 5, Laurel 3. Saves: Belgrade NA (Not available), Laurel 11 (Cy McMurrey)

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