After a defensive battle to start, the Bulldogs cruised to a 4-0 quarterfinal victory over Livingston-Park on Saturday.
Sam Menicke opened the scoring floodgate for Whitefish in the 30th minute, nailing in a strike past the Livingston keeper.
Ammann Koch-Ford added another goal off a Menicke assist in the 37th minute to take a 2-0 lead at halftime.
Whitefish added a pair of goals in the second half to seal the deal, with James Thompson scoring in the 64th minute and Ian Lacey in the 66th minute.
The Dogs had 10 shots on goal to Livingston’s six. Keeper Colter Upton had six saves for Whitefish.
“As a team, we started a little slow,” head coach John Lacey said. “A couple guys, Xander Burger in particular, had a lot of energy throughout the whole game and he really gave us a boost near the end of the first half. He gave us that great chance that Sam Menicke finished with a beautiful goal. That really picked up the rest of the team.”
“In the end of course we’re happy with the result.”
Lacey said the intensity of the match, along with Livingston’s physical style of play, is indicative of what he expects to see moving forward as well.
On Saturday the Bulldogs will host Frenchtown, who defeated Laurel 2-0 in quarterfinal play. The game begins at 2 p.m.
“The game certainly had a playoff intensity to it that I don’t entirely chalk up to them being physical. I think we can expect that intensity in whatever games we play these remaining weeks,” he said. “It’s good that every game is a little bit more of everything, whether it’s speed, physicality, finishing — everything needs to be sharper and better in the playoffs. We look forward to that, we embrace that. It brings out our best.”
The two teams haven’t met this season, but they played under the same circumstances last postseason.
“Frenchtown is a very well-coached team, they’re disciplined they’ve got a couple dynamic guys that like to get forward,” Lacey said. “Our mission will be to score goals, that’s how we know to win games. We’ll have to overcome their defense, they lost a couple of the players who really made them special last year but there’s still plenty left in the tank and I think they’re looking forward to getting back at us after last year’s game.”
Whitefish 2 2 – 4
Livingston 0 0 – 0
W – Sam Menicke, 30:00
W – Ammann Koch-Ford (Menicke), 37:00
W – James Thompson, 64:00
W – Ian Lacey (Xander Burger), 66:00
Shots on goal – Whitefish 10, Livingston 6; Corner kicks – Whitefish 7, Livingston 1; Keeper saves – Whitefish 6 (Colter Upton), Livingston 6 (Brandon Smith); Fouls – Whitefish 11, Livingston 15; Cards - Whitefish 1 yellow, Livingston 1 yellow.