Lady Dogs come up short in semifinal game

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The Lady Dogs gave it their all, but couldn’t contain Billings Central’s scoring in the Class A semifinal match.

The Rams won 3-0 behind goals from Solei Elletson and Morgan Ferestad (2).

Whitefish allowed only one goal in the first half, but Ferestad’s two goals put the game out of reach for the Lady Dogs, whose offense struggled to attack the net.

The Lady Dogs only managed to get off three shots on goal, compared to the Rams’ 14.

Keeper Sami Galbraith had five saves for Whitefish.

Head coach Roland Benedict said despite the score, the game didn’t feel lopsided against his team.

“It was an interesting game,” he said. “You can lose to a team 1-0 and get completely dominated, and you can lose 3-0 and not be dominated, and I don’t think the score line is indicative of the way the game went.”

Benedict said he knows his girls are capable of playing with a team like Billings, but it just didn’t materialize on Saturday.

“They didn’t have any special setups, didn’t have any man marking. We just didn’t push their back line and their defensive shape to test them at all,” he said. “We need to work on cultivating creative players in our program and highlighting players that can be creative in the attacking third. We have some good dangerous players, but I think we need a bit more creativity in those positions, and that’s something we’ll be working on going into next season.”

The team finishes the season 9-7-0.

Despite the ending, Benedict said he’s proud of the way his team competed this fall.

“I was happy,” he said. “For us, in this year we played the best soccer this program has ever played since I’ve been in the program. We had times when we’re completing 500 passes in a game, 10-pass buildups to goals, so I think we’re moving in the right direction. We’re finally getting to that point where every player in the program knows what’s expected of them before they get into it. This was the first year we really had that buy in and commitment, and match that with a great group of true soccer players.”

“I think we need to work on our mental strength and a few other things, but onward and upward as they say.”

Billings Central 1 2 – 3

Whitefish 0 0 – 0

BC – Solei Elletson (Zoie Althoff)

BC – Morgan Ferestad

BC – Ferestad (Althoff)

Shots on goal – Central 14, Whitefish 3; Corner kicks — NA: Keeper saves – Central 3 (NA), Whitefish 5 (NA); Fouls — NA; Cards — NA.

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