How sweet it is

Laurel girls win second state title in three years
Connor Waddingham
Thursday, November 7, 2019
The State Champion Laurel Locomotives sprinting towards the Laurel supporters with their new trophy. Photo courtesy of Kathleen Linger

The State Champion Laurel Locomotives sprinting towards the Laurel supporters with their new trophy. Photo courtesy of Kathleen Linger

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Photo courtesy of Kathleen Linger
          
            Senior Sammi Spitzer chasing down a Billings Central player in her last game as Locomotive.

They’ve done it again. After a great season full of goals, solid defense and new blossoming faces, the Laurel Lady Locos are once again State Champions. They have been in the State title match for six consecutive seasons and it was their fifth consecutive title matchup with Billings Central. It was the Locomotives first title since 2017. The Rams and

Locos have combined to win the last 12 Class A State championships, but this was Laurel’s year. They played stellar defense against Montana’s all-time leading goal scorer, Morgan Ferestad, and also career assist leader, Zoie Althoff. Laurel’s entire team played great, and they put two goals past the Lady Rams to win the 2019 State title.

It was a cool afternoon in this game. The energy from the spectators was palpable in the 40-degree weather, and both sides of the pitch were packed with supporters from both schools.

The Lady Locos scored first in this game. Mya Maack has been a goalscoring machine all year long, and she was first to make a mark on the scoreboard in her first State title game. This was Maack’s 30th goal of her first varsity season, and it was important one. Her sister, Morgan, fed her the assist for her goal. She is now on pace to break Ferestad’s career goal record. It was a huge goal to open up the game, and it let Laurel’s defense sit a little more comfortably early on.

In last season’s Class A championship match, defense was the highlight of the game for both teams. Laurel’s defense was once again fantastic this year, and they did not allow a Billings Central goal during this 80-minute duel. Keeper Anna Cole made a couple of crucial saves in this game, and even had to be subbed out for a couple of minutes after a collision with Central’s Ferestad. Her mouth was bloody after the collision, but she returned shortly after. Cole, along with the solid back line of the Lady Locos, helped Laurel keep the clean sheet in this match.

Early on in the second half, Laurel’s Maeson Cotter was able to score a goal that hit the crossbar and went in. Cotter’s shot was a little high, but it hit the inside of the crossbar and bounced down into the net. Allison Shovar was credited with the assist.

Central’s high-powered offense simply couldn’t get through the Laurel defense. They didn’t offer many shots on targets, or shots in general, compared to the other previous matchups between the two teams.

As time went on, the feeling began to set in amongst the Laurel supporters: this team was going to be State champions.

With five minutes remaining, coach Aloma Jess subbed out Mya Maack to put in the team’s lone senior, Sammi Spitzer, to get both of the players a round of applause for their work they put in this season.

When the final whistle sounded, the Laurel bench sprinted out onto the field to embrace their teammates and celebrate together. It was a fun moment to watch as a spectator, and the girls clearly wanted this all year long. Most of the girls embraced with Spitzer right away. It was her last game as a Locomotive, and it couldn’t have gone much better. The Laurel Locomotives won this game 2-0, and were crowned as the 2019 Class A Girls State Champions.

The Lady Locos will be back, competing for their second consecutive State championship in 2020. Laurel graduates one senior this season, Spitzer, who had two goals and two assists this season. Their young nucleus will help the team continue to grow, although its hard to imagine a team improving after six-straight State championship appearances. Mya and Morgan Maack, the team’s leading goal scorers, will be back alongside Maeson Cotter, Kadee Grammar, Gracey Willis and Sierra Branstetter. All but one player will be back to help the Locos defend their state title next season. Congrats to the Lady Locomotives on another great season of soccer!

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Upcoming Events

Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Fourth Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Eagles Hall, 313 W. Main, 628-4503
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961

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