The Libby High School boys soccer team had an early lead in their home game against Bigfork last Saturday, but could not hold out against the Vikings.
About 16 minutes into the first half, Libby sophomore Isaac O’Rourke scored the first goal of the game, giving the Loggers a 1-0 lead against Bigfork.
Libby held that lead through ten minutes of back and forth play, before the Vikings came back to tie the game.
Senior Libby goalkeeper Elijah Smith held fast in front of the net, with several saves that had him diving or leaping to protect the goal. But, a shot across the goal slipped past him with only nine minutes left in the half, and the Vikings took the lead, 2-1.
By the half, Bigfork had extended to a 3-1 lead, and they came back in the second half to push it out to 5-1 with about 19 minutes left in the game.
The Logger’s junior midfielder Moxley Roesler Begalke — who along with several other players had been fighting for a shot at Bigfork’s keeper throughout the game — shot for Libby’s final point in the last minutes of the game, making it 5-2, Vikings.
The game ended with a 6-2 Bigfork win.
Libby Head Coach Jeff Zwang said that, while he would have preferred a better result, he felt the match was competitive and the Loggers played hard.
“I would have liked to have been a little better in possession, and a little more clinical in front of goal, but that’s the nature of this game sometimes,” he said.
Zwang noted that Ethan Neff had a good game. Neff is a senior midfielder who can often be spotted fighting aggressively for possession.
He also said he felt Smith had a good game.
While the score shows the goals that made it past Smith, it misses the leap and dives that kept the Vikings from climbing any higher against the Loggers.
While several of the usually most visible players — such as Roesler-Begalke and Smith — continued to put out their usual level of performance, others such as O’Rourke stood out more against Bigfork than they have in past games.
Zwang said, in soccer, it’s possible for a good player to go unnoticed because the way they are contributing isn’t as obvious.
“The reality is, they’re doing it, they’re just doing it well enough that you don’t even notice them doing it,” he said.
Additionally, there have been some changes to how the team is set up as the season progresses, and Zwang has been working with the Loggers on positioning and defending as a unit, he said.
The Loggers next play in Columbia Falls on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Their next home game at Logger Stadium will be Saturday, Sept. 29 at noon, when they face Whitefish.