Lady Dogs take down Libby, earn top seed for playoffs

by WHITNEY ENGLAND
Reporter | October 14, 2020 1:00 AM

Last week the Whitefish girls soccer team waited out a canceled game with Polson before easily defeating Libby 2-0.

The week was not a physically strenuous one and head coach Roland Benedict said the rest was welcomed after the exhausting series of games his team has played over the last few weeks.

“We’ve played so many games recently and we’re so banged up that to give us a break was very needed to just relax a bit. A blessing in disguise although it gives you a chance to work on things in games and score goals, which we need to improve on,” Benedict said.

The girls final home game of the regular season was supposed to be against Polson on Thursday, however the Lady Pirates had to forfeit the game due to a required quarantine after coronavirus exposure. Although it was nice for Whitefish to have a break getting closer to the playoffs, Benedict said it was supposed to be senior night.

“Our seniors, who have been great ambassadors for our program throughout their career, didn’t get their senior night game,” Benedict said. “It’s tough to play four years and to stay with the team and the program, all of that is really commendable; they’re fantastic.”

The Lady Bulldogs just have two seniors this year, Ali Hirsch and goalkeeper Sami Galbraith.

Against Libby, Whitefish outmatched the Loggers in nearly every aspect of the game; Whitefish outshot Libby 26-6 and had four more corner kicks over the Loggers. Benedict said his team was able to dominate the play without physically going all out the week before playoffs are set to begin.

“I’ve never had a team that was confident enough in their style of play and their ability to completely dictate a game where they physically didn’t have to work very hard,” Benedict commented.

He added, “We were able to comfortably gather a win without exerting too much physical energy going into the playoff stretch.”

In the 28th minute Hirsch found the goal on a praise-worthy header after Emma Barron fed her the assist. Whitefish controlled possession of the ball for most of the game, but struggled on finishing their shots. Finally in the 78th minute Whitefish’s Adrienne Healy scored off a feed from Anna Akey to secure the win.

As the Lady Bulldogs closed out regular season play, the girls are the number one seed in Western A and head into the playoffs undefeated. They spout an overall record of 9-0-1.

The Whitefish girls soccer team is set to host the third seed out of the East, Park High from Livingston, for the first round of the playoffs. Benedict said that although their quarterfinal opponent is a lower seed, the Eastern A division is stacked with some of the state’s best teams — Park High is sure to be a challenge for the Lady Bulldogs.

“It’s going to be a fun game — they’re athletic, they’re strong, they’re fast and they like to play soccer,” Benedict said. “So it will be really exciting. It’s going to be a good game for us, hosting it at home.”

The Lady Bulldogs will play Park High at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17 at Smith Fields.

Whitefish 1 1 — 2

Libby 0 0 — 0

W - Ali Hirsch (Emma Barron) 28:00

W - Adrienne Healy (Anna Akey) 78:00

Shots on goal - Libby 6, Whitefish 26. Goalie saves - Libby 15, Whitefish 4. Corner kicks - Libby 4, Whitefish 8. Fouls - Whitefish 15, Libby 3. Cards - none.