Saturday’s strong winds were no problem for the Bulldogs, who took down Libby with 11 goals in the homecoming win.
Eight different Bulldogs scored in the match, with Ian Lacey, Sam Menicke and Jeiven Pemberton all scoring twice.
Lacey started Whitefish’s offense explosion with a pair of goals in the third and ninth minute, assisted by Casey Schneider and Menicke.
Menicke scored a goal in the 10th minute off a penalty kick, Schneider scored unassisted in the 11th minute, Menicke scored again in the 12th minute, and Gabe Menicke found the net in the 13th minute.
While minute 14 was uneventful, Aaron Dicks managed to find the goal in the 15th minute.
Niath Edland capped off the first half scoring with a goal five minutes later, putting the halftime score at 8-0.
Riley Arendt and Pemberton finished things off with goals in the 45th, 74th and 78th minutes.
Whitefish had 31 shots on goal to Libby’s two.
Head coach John Lacey said it was nice to see so many of his players, especially underclassmen, get solid minutes in the win.
“I think we know that we’ve got a really strong team. Libby has not had a lot of successful lately so we kind of knew we were going to have an opportunity to play a lot of guys. That was a real focus, making sure we took care of the game but with those couple goals in hand early on, it was a great chance to get some other guys opportunities to step forward and score some goals,” Lacey said. “What was really affirming to me is to see our roster, all 24 players, continue look like what we expect out of our starters. That was good sign for me for our future.”
This week the Dogs played at Columbia Falls on Tuesday after press time. They host Bigfork for Senior Night on Thursday, starting at 3:30 p.m. at Smith Fields.
Both games are big, Lacey says.
“Columbia Falls knows us. It’s always a big game, it’s under the lights over there,” Lacey said. “At this point, I think it’s safe to say they are our main competition for the conference title.”
As for Thursday, Lacey said it’s going to be nice to honor his team’s seniors, which include captains Schneider, Menicke, Ian Lacey and Joseph Houston, as well as Colter Upton, Pemberton, Bradlee Anderson and Kaden de Yong.
“We’ve got a pretty big senior class, a lot of whom have invested a lot of time in Whitefish soccer. It’ll be a fun night to honor them and I’m really looking forward to that,” he said.
Libby 0 0 — 0
Whitefish 8 3 — 11
WF — Ian Lacey (Casey Schneider) 3:00
WF — Lacey (Sam Menicke) 9:00
WF — S. Menicke (PK) 10:00
WF — Schneider 11:00
WF — S. Menicke 12:00
WF — Gabe Menicke (Brandon Mendoza) 13:00
WF — Aaron Dicks (Mendoza) 15:00
WF — Niath Edland (G. Menicke) 20:00
WF — Riley Arendt 45:00
WF — Jeiven Pemberton (Marvin Kimera) 74:00
WF — Pemberton 78:00
Shots on goal — Libby 2, Whitefish 31; Goalie saves — Libby 20 (Owen Enyeart), Whitefish 2 (Jacob Gersh, Bradlee Anderson); Corner kicks — Libby 0, Whitefish 9; Fouls — Libby 4, Whitefish 6.