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Girls Soccer: Loggers finish regular season unbeaten

by Brad FuquaWestern News
| October 12, 2009 12:00 AM

Bringing the ball into the right corner with less than 2 minutes remaining, Libby junior Jaime Gilden kept an eye on teammate Anna Valentine. With a powerful kick, Gilden crossed the ball to her teammate over the middle. And Valentine finished with an impressive header into the net.

During an interview on Saturday after Libby’s 3-0 win over Whitefish, coach Matt Warner said he hoped that the goal was caught on tape – because it was a beauty.

“To see that cross at the end was awesome … knowing she was in the right spot and able to put it in,” Warner said.

Along with a 3-2 victory on Thursday over Polson, the Lady Loggers finished the regular season with an 8-0 record in the conference, 11-0 overall.

“It’s a great accomplishment … they worked very hard and they deserve it,” Warner said about Libby going undefeated. “You have to give everybody credit; the whole team worked very hard. That’s not something that’s going to happen every year.”

Libby now turns its attention to the playoffs. Although the matchup had not been finalized by presstime on Monday, the Lady Loggers will play at home on Saturday with the start time tentatively set for noon. The opponent has also not been finalized but Warner said it could be Livingston.

Neither team found the net over the first 20 minutes of Saturday’s Whitefish-Libby game. Logger goalkeeper Audra Poppen had a nice save in the first five minutes on a shot by Natalie Gayner. Libby countered with offensive opportunities of its own. Gilden, Valentine and Ashley Shaw were set up in the middle on a good chance in the ninth minute and Valentine and Gilden nearly came through on a corner kick in the 14th minute.

Finally, the Loggers scored in the 20th minute on a free kick by Valentine. On the play, she placed the ball perfectly over the Whitefish keeper’s head.

Later in the 35th minute, the Loggers scored again when Valentine passed the ball to Chrissy Vennes, who buried a shot for a 2-0 lead.

Neither team generated much over most of the second half. Gilden had to leave the game for a few minutes after suffering a bloody nose. In fact, she had to change from No. 17 to No. 20 because of blood on her uniform. Moments after returning, Gilden setup the Valentine header.

Poppen finished with four saves for the Loggers.

On Thursday, Libby won an exciting game over Polson, 3-2. Chelsea Ahart scored with four minutes remaining on a ball from Gilden.

The Loggers led 1-0 at halftime with Ashley VanHoose finding the net in the 16th minute. In the second half, McKenzie Wagner tied the game with a goal in the 43rd minute. Ten minutes later, Valentine scored with an assist to Vennes. Sarah Devlin countered for the Pirates in the 66th minute to set up the thrilling finish.