BLACKFOOT — The top two teams in the High Country Conference squared off on the pitch at Blackfoot High School on Thursday afternoon as the undefeated Broncos took on the undefeated Bees in a classic soccer showdown.
In a back and forth affair, the Bees showed why they are the defending 4A state champions as they tallied a pair of second half goals to escape with a 3-2 victory.
"They are a very good team. A good team that honestly I think that we outplayed in the first half," Blackfoot head coach Liam Pope said. "And like a good team, they woke up in the second half and kind of rocked us a bit."
Blackfoot opened the contest on the attack with their ruthless full field pressure. That hustle led to the games first tally of the game when Sigve Borgmo headed in a pass from Gerardo Bartolo in the ninth minute of play.
Bonneville responded six minutes later to tie the game at 1-1 but Blackfoot continued their relentless pursuit of the ball but despite several great looks at a goal, the home team were unable to penetrate the goal line until a blast from Carlos Flores in the thirty-seventh minute.
Flores turned and fired from about thirty yards, sending a missile of a shot into the upper corner of the goal for a 2-1 lead which held until the half.
Out of the break Bonneville went on the attack, giving the Broncos a bit of their own medicine and the up tempo worked as the Bees tallied a pair of goals in the first twenty minutes for the 3-2 advantage.
"Usually the team that is behind at the half will come out a little harder to begin the second half so we were expecting it but still they caught us a little by surprise," Coach Pope said. "I would have to say the most disappointing thing is that we addressed it at half that we would need to be physically strong, not in ability but in actual physicalness to match them and we failed to do that on both of their goals."
Blackfoot had their chances down the stretch however, especially in the final five minutes of play when they had four quality shots on goal. Unfortunately, the ball just didn't find it's way home as Blackfoot suffered their first loss of the season.
"To lose by one or by two or three there isn't a difference so we were gambling our life away there at the end, throwing everybody at it to try and get that tying goal," Coach Pope said. "The boys are down but we will have the weekend off to step away and think about it a little bit and like I told them after the game. Since I've been here we have always responded very well after a loss and I expect that to continue."
Blackfoot (6-1, 4-1) will return to action on Tuesday when they travel to Rigby.