BOZEMAN — Last Tuesday, both the Bozeman girls and boys soccer programs won Class AA state championships with home-field advantage.
What's even more impressive is both teams also accomplished the feat of an undefeated season. Neither program lost a game all year.
"The girls just won. We won. It’s the year of the the Hawk," Bozeman goalkeeper Oliver Olsen said with the state championship trophy in hand.
He looked back down at the piece of hardware.
"It’s the year of the Hawk," he repeated.
The programs had a combined record of 30-0-4. Dominance — that’s a word to encapsulate the season for Bozeman soccer.
"It’s incredible," forward Maya Bossenbrook said when asked about her team's undefeated season. "I think it represents our hard work, our love for the game, and how much we all work together, and love each other, and play for each other is the biggest thing."
Olsen explained why this year felt different for his team.
"We took this season a little differently than normal, and we just sort of took it game by game instead of focusing on the bigger goals," he explained. "We just took it game by game, and it showed,"
The great records and glorious titles are the ultimate end goal, but what went unseen for these programs included the hard work and the grind they put in all season to achieve the ultimate goal of the state championship.
"You know, there were a lot of tough games," Bozeman Hawks girls soccer coach Erika Cannon said. "I think each game kind of helped us tweak how we were playing and ensured that we were prepared for the next game."
Behind every great team is a group of veteran leaders. And for Bozeman, both teams had a strong core of upperclassmen that set a solid standard each and every day.
"I think it’d be the senior class and the juniors," Olsen began explaining why he felt they dominated the landscape this season. "Our upperclassmen really pushed every single person at every single practice."
"It’s just exciting for these group of seniors," Bozeman boys soccer coach Patrick Straub said. " I’m really proud of what they’ve accomplished all season long. They’ve dealt with a lot of adversity, and just, they’re just a special group, and they deserve this, and they’ve earned it."
It’s not only special that both teams won state, but also that they both did in front of their school and their town back to back.
Games that were originally supposed to be played Saturday were ultimately moved to Tuesday due to weather. Despite the games being moved to a school day, administration made sure their peers could support them.
"This means the world," goalkeeper Karly Jordan pointed to the large student section that was still on the field post-win. "We’ve definitely, I feel like our team has upped our student section, like, so much. We brought everyone here. I mean school was still in session, and the principal made it so all our teachers could come and support, and that’s just massive for our soccer season."
The culture of the soccer program for Bozeman High is strong, and looks to continue the legacy into its future seasons.
"I think just the family within it, just like how we all love each other," Bozeman Hawks defender Bryce Lenneman said. "We don’t have any negative attitudes towards each other. We’re all working together for one main goal."