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Whitefish gets two hat tricks in victory

by BRANDON HANSEN, For the Pilot
| August 30, 2023 1:00 AM

Whitefish had lofty goals heading into the 2023 season and the Aug. 26 road opener was naturally an excellent step forward toward them with a 10-0 victory over non-conference foe Frenchtown.

"The start of the season is always exciting, but this wasn't new for our players; they were picking up where they left off last season," Whitefish Head Coach John Lacey said.

The Bulldogs got hat tricks from Preston McPherson and Collin Lyman. Lyman had all three of his goals before the first half. His team went into the locker room with a 9-0 advantage at the break, while McPherson's quick three goals ended the game via mercy rule as he scored in the 36th minute, the 38th minute, and the 49th minute.

"We always want to play a very patient and intentional style of soccer, but Frenchtown came out and played us differently," Lacey explained. "Frenchtown's defense was 40 yards from its goal, which created a lot of one-on-one soccer."

Also scoring for Whitefish were Ryder Elliot, Kyler Jonson, and Elijah Adams-Griffin.

Lacey explained that it was the right soccer decision for his players to go after the openings given to them, even if it wasn't their normal style of offense.

Whitefish had 16 shots on goal to Frenchtown's three and five corner kicks.

Lacey said that his players did well when Whitefish had the opportunity to build and possess the ball or were forced to make different decisions. He also praised new goalkeepers Charlie Dow and Ethan Bourque.

"Both were outstanding on Saturday," Lacey said. "They didn't have a ton of opportunities, but what they did, they did well, and we will continue to try and put up clean sheets like this."

Whitefish will play Stevensville at home at 6 p.m. this Friday, and then on Saturday, they will have a JV matchup against Hellgate, which will give the Bulldogs experience against Class AA talent.

"Stevensville is always well coached, and we will have to try and move the ball and end up with more of a full soccer game as opposed to races to the goal," Lacey said.

WHITEFISH 10, FRENCHTOWN 0

Whitefish - 9 - 1 — 10

Frenchtown - 0 - 0 — 0

WF — Ryder Elliott (Griffin Gunlikson) 9:00

WF — Collin Lyman 11:00

WF — Elliott (Preston McPherson) 20:00

WF — Kyler Jonson (Lyman) 23:00

WF — Lyman (Jackson Dorvall) 25:00

WF — Lyman (Ethan Bourque) 33:00

WF — Elijah Adams-Griffin 35:00

WF — McPherson (Jonson) 36:00

WF — McPherson (Griffin Johnson) 38:00

WF — McPherson (Felix Ebbett) 49:00

Shots — Whitefish 16, Frenchtown 3; Goalie saves — Whitefish 3 (Bourque, C. Dow), Frenchtown 6 (Lund); Corner kicks — Whitefish 5, Frenchtown 10; Fouls — Whitefish 7, Frenchtown 1.