Lady Dogs face off with Polson in playoffs

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  • Olivia Potthoff fights off a Bigfork defender during last week’s home win.

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    Anna Cook makes a pass against Bigfork last week at home. (Daniel McKay/Whitefish Pilot)

  • Olivia Potthoff fights off a Bigfork defender during last week’s home win.

  • 1

    Anna Cook makes a pass against Bigfork last week at home. (Daniel McKay/Whitefish Pilot)

It’s do or die for the Lady Bulldogs.

After falling 2-0 to Polson on Thursday, Whitefish on Tuesday hosted the Lady Pirates for a postseason play-in rematch after presstime.

Sophia Moderie connected on both of the team’s goals, while Whitefish couldn’t get any of their 11 shots on goal to fall.

Despite the loss to Polson, Whitefish still finished ahead of the Lady Pirates in Northwest A conference standings, taking second place behind Columbia Falls.

Head coach Roland Benedict said while the result was disappointing, he didn’t think his team played poorly.

“We lost 2-0, but it was one of those things where we played well,” he said. “It’s not that we didn’t play well, it’s not that we didn’t work hard, we just didn’t execute in the final third. We didn’t play with the proper amount of edge.”

Polson’s two goals also came as a result of mishaps on the Lady Dogs’ part, Benedict said.

“They scored two goals on two mistakes, we didn’t win a big ball over the top and we gave the ball away on the top of our box to our two best players,” he said. “I think we got a little complacent, we’ve been scoring a lot of goals and we’ve been scoring these really gorgeous goals on very attractive play. Sometimes that’s great, but you need to be able to attack in a multitude of ways and we got caught trying to walk the ball in the back of the net.”

Going into Tuesday’s playoff match, Benedict said he’s hoping to see the same team that handed Polson a 8-2 loss out on the pitch.

While there’s not enough time between matches to implement much in the way of new strategies, Benedict said the last two practices have been more about getting his girls back in a high-scoring head space.

“It’s kind of just a mentality change, really. We played on Thursday, so we had one full training session and one pregame session, so you can’t really create a tempo and break things down. I’m telling the girls, ‘You beat them 8-2 at home. You obviously can score lots of goals against them.’ We’ve just got to get back to being our lethal, clinical best,” he said.

“Obviously we can play with all these teams, it’s about being ruthless in front of the goal and creating chances and scoring goals. You’ve got to score goals to win games, make that other team defend. I think if we do that, we’ll be successful in the playoffs.”

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