GREAT FALLS — The first crosstown match-up was a touching scene as both programs for the boys and girls were seen donning warm-up shirts with the printed "Emma Strong" emblem to show support for Great Falls Lady Bison soccer player Emma Pachek, who was forced to sit out the season due to a rare blood disorder.
On June 5, 2021, Great Falls High School soccer player Emma Pachek collapsed on the field due to what was seemingly increasing fatigue the past few weeks. A hematology report revealed she had a rare blood disorder: aplastic anemia.
From that point began many treatments in Denver, Colorado, where Emma and her mother Julie have stayed for the past weeks. However, in that span, something special has become of Emma’s illness. It has become a call for others to step up and be "Emma Strong."
Since her diagnosis, the Great Falls community has organized the ongoing fundraiser "Emma Strong" through the Be The Match organization to register blood stem cell donors as well as raise money for athletic scholarships in the community.
Now, how the games went:
As far as defense goes, the Great Falls CMR Lady Rustlers couldn't have had a better game as they shutout the Great Falls Bison winning this one 1-0. With eight minutes left in the first half, freshman Lillian Skaer struck first for the Rustlers as she scored outside the 18-yard box to score the only goal of the game for either team. The second half would be a defensive stalemate as both keepers Robin Blair and Riley Schei would have stellar performances in goal. The Lady Rustlers get their first win on the season while the Lady Bison fall to 0-7.
For the boys, Great Falls CMR would have ample opportunities in the first half but wouldn't be able to capitalize until right before the half Treve Mans nets it from long range giving the Rustlers the lead at half 1-0. In the second half though Bison's Corbyn Smith would tie it up 1-1 with a keeper error as the ball would go right through his hands and then later on with five minutes left in the game, Jake McCluey found his way behind the defense on a through ball to seal the win for the Bison.
The Bison get their first win of the season as well going 1-4-2 while Great Falls CMR drops to 0-7.