Saturday, May 18, 2024

Boys Soccer: LHS to battle Hamilton as well as flu

by Brad FuquaWestern News
| October 15, 2009 12:00 AM

Heading into last year’s state playoffs as the No. 2 seed out of the North, Libby went on a roll and captured its first-ever boys soccer championship. As this year’s postseason gets set to begin on Saturday, the Loggers again find themselves as a No. 2 seed.

“I like the Loggers’ chances. We’re in the exact same place we were last year,” second-year coach Charlie Webster said. “We’re refocusing after the loss to Whitefish.”

The disappointing outcome of the regular-season finale hasn’t derailed Libby’s confidence, Webster said.

“The game Whitefish brought Saturday, I wouldn’t want to have to play that same game,” Webster said. “It made the boys and the coaches re-focus this week in practice. Everybody’s working hard and putting a lot into it. The last two practices, the boys have been energetic with a lot of intensity.”

If the two teams were to meet again, it would have to be in the championship game because of the way the brackets work out.

Pushing Whitefish aside, the Loggers will open state with a home game against Hamilton – the No. 2 seed out of the South. The game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start at Logger Stadium.

“They have scored a lot of goals this year with several of their games 7-0, 8-0,” Webster said about his first-round opponent. “We should be evenly matched.”

Libby and Hamilton haven’t faced one another during Webster’s time as head coach.

If the Loggers get by Hamilton, they would advance to a semifinal game most likely against Billings Central, the No. 1 seed out of the East. Billings Central opens against Stevensville but it would be a significant upset if Central doesn’t advance.

The Loggers have showed the ability to strike from many different places on the field. Libby has a more balanced attack with a variety of players recording goals. And the defense has been one of the strongest units in the state with Lewis Brossman in goal along with Brandon Pagacz, Greg Lundin and Caleb Lapka on the back line.

Libby is battling an intrasquad problem with the flu.

“We’ve all had this cold weather; I had four players sit from practice today (Tuesday),” Webster said. “That could be a real wildcard throughout the playoffs this year.”

A Libby starter missed the first two practices this week and others are showing flu-like symptoms.

“I’ll be surprised if we’re completely healthy with that much illness already going around this week,” Webster said.