During a preseason jamboree in August, Addi Ekstrom suspected Bozeman could have a successful year.

The junior had already moved on from the disappointment of back-to-back losses to open the 2018 Class AA tournament. At the start of the season, she witnessed the requirements for quality play.

“Everyone was working really hard, and there was some really creative, dynamic play,” Ekstrom said of the August performance. “It was just really cool to see and really fun to play with.”

Two months later, the Hawks (9-1-3, 8-1-3 Eastern AA) enter the Class AA tournament as the east’s No. 2 seed and will host East No. 7 seed Billings Senior at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the first round. Bozeman finished the regular season on a four-game win streak and outscored opponents 19-2 in its last seven games.

Ekstrom has been at the center of it all, playing a crucial role as an attacking midfielder and recording eight goals and six assists, both team highs.

“She’s a humble player. She plays with great poise. She’s technically amazing. She’s got great speed,” Hawks head coach Erika Cannon said. “She has tons of different attributes that help us.”

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Bozeman junior Addi Ekstrom dribbles in front of Great Falls CMR’s Aspen Lucero on Oct. 11 at Bozeman Sports Park.

Cannon has played her as an attacking midfielder because that’s where she can be most influential. As a freshman, Ekstrom played on the wing and contributed with five goals and five assists. She put up the same numbers as a sophomore.

As a junior, Ekstrom’s game has taken another step. She’s learned to balance playing relaxed, which helps her excel as a distributor, while also providing intensity when warranted. Given how often she touches the ball in the middle of the field, it’s a skill that lifts her teammates.

“Having that poise allows her to be calm when we need her to be calm and to pick up the pace when we need her to pick up the pace,” Cannon said. “I think that the players around her feed off of that.”

Since Ekstrom plays basketball in the winter and runs track in the spring, she rarely has time to focus on soccer in the offseason until the summer. She tries to evenly split her soccer and basketball workouts.

Cannon added that playing multiple sports helps her with injury prevention as well as in high-pressure situations. Due to how often she’s competing athletically, Ekstrom has become used to playing in big moments.

She also recognized how track helps her speed and basketball helps her vision on the field, both helping her become a well-rounded soccer player.

“It’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of work. You don’t have many off days, but I kind of enjoy that,” Ekstrom said. “I don’t know what I’d do without those three sports, and I think they tie into each other really well.”

This summer, Ekstrom trained nearly every day. She typically practiced shooting at a field at the school or worked with a trainer. She focused on placing where she wanted the ball rather than just shooting toward the net.

Ekstrom was also among some teammates who organized a group to play throughout the summer. That way, when the season began in August, the Hawks could have some more familiarity with each other’s styles.

All it took was that early-season jamboree for Ekstrom to notice the practice paying off.

“I just really wanted to make a difference to my team,” she said, “and put as much effort in as I could over the summer so that we could advance and hopefully win a state championship.”

BHS Girls Soccer v. Belgrade (copy)

Hawks junior Addi Ekstrom opens up for a pass recently at Bozeman High.

In an Oct. 5 game against Senior, Ekstrom rotated to forward and scored three goals. The 5-1 win began Bozeman’s win streak.

Ekstrom attributed the performance to her teammates who passed her the ball. When she plays midfield, she’s usually the one passing to them.

“I really like to dish balls out to the outside, and it’s super nice to have really fast wings that can get out and run,” Ekstrom said. “Being an attacking mid, it’s been really great to switch the point of attack, and it’s a fun position.”

When the season started, Cannon implemented a high-pressure system requiring players to shift cohesively when they began to defend. After occasional flashes of potential early on, those moments of success began lasting longer and longer.

And Ekstrom is usually involved in them.

“That ability to bring people with her is really, really wonderful,” Cannon said. “We’re still an amazing team. Obviously Addi brings a lot to that, but I think she makes other people look good.”

Paul Schwedelson can be reached at pschwedelson@dailychronicle.com or 406-582-2670. Follow him on Twitter @pschweds.