Bulldogs win streak continues

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Brandon Mendoza fights off a Columbia Falls player during Thursday’s 1-0 home win. (Daniel McKay/Whitefish Pilot)

The Bulldogs are still perfect on the pitch, even after a 1-0 nail-biter against Columbia Falls last Thursday.

Both teams scoreless at the half, Brandon Mendoza put up the Dogs’ lone goal in the 53rd minute to push Whitefish (10-0, 5-0) over the Wildcats in the Northwest A matchup.

Sam Menicke got the assist on Mendoza’s goal.

Last time the teams met they faced a similar 0-0 score at half.

Head coach John Lacey said he knew Columbia Falls would put up a fight.

“It’s not too unexpected. We always expect to get Columbia Falls’ best, and they have a good defensive team,” Lacey said. “They put a lot of people behind the ball, they put a lot of speed in the back and they have a strong keeper. All those things will make it challenging for all offenses to score.”

Lacey said the one time the Wildcats did let up on defense, Mendoza was there to take advantage.

“All game long we spent a lot of time on their end, what we lacked was the clinical touch in the box to finish it off. We were lucky enough that a letdown on their end found Brandon open,” he said. “Wish we could’ve gotten more, but one’s enough and that worked.”

The Dogs had 10 shots on goal to five for Columbia Falls. Whitefish had 7-0 advantage in corner kicks.

Things weren’t so close in Libby on Saturday.

Whitefish built on a 5-0 halftime lead with another five goals in the second half for the 10-0 win.

Casey Schneider accounted for three of the team’s goals, the first coming on a penalty kick just a minute into the match.

Xander Burger, Menicke, Marvin Kimera (2), Chase Sabin and Niath Edland (2) all added to the scoring for Whitefish.

Lacey said it was good to get back to getting the ball in the net in that match.

“Our team loves to score goals. Goals win games and they live that. Being held to one meant we were ready to go to Libby and try to put more in up there,” Lacey said. “Being able to get more people on the field against Libby was good for everybody.”

This week the Dogs hosted Bigfork on Tuesday for Senior Night and Pink Week. On Thursday they’ll head down to Polson for the conference battle with the Pirates.

Seniors on this year’s team include Burger, Ammann Koch-Ford and Damien Cecil.

Lacey said each has played their own role in the program. Burger has a had an especially notable career with the Bulldogs.

“Xander’s career kind of speaks for itself. He’s been a starter since the moment he showed up as a freshman. It’s good for him to have the kind of year our team is having,” Lacey said. “I’m really proud of them all.”

Columbia Falls 0 0 — 0

Whitefish 0 1 — 1

W — Brandon Mendoza (Sam Menicke), 53:00

Shots on goal — Columbia Falls 5, Whitefish 10; Corner kicks — Columbia Falls 0, Whitefish 7; Keeper saves — Columbia Falls 9 (Story Stemborski), Whitefish 5 (Colter Upton); Fouls — Columbia Falls 8, Whitefish 7; Cards — Columbia Falls, 1 yellow

Whitefish 5 5 – 10

Libby 0 0 – 0

W – Casey Schneider (penalty kick), 1:00

W – Schneider, 11:00

W – Xander Burger (James Thompson), 17:00

W – Sam Menicke (Gabe Menicke), 32:00

W – Marvin Kimera (Gabe Menicke), 38:00

W – Schneider (Damien Cecil), 53:00

W – Chase Sabin, 56:00

W – Niath Edland (Kimera), 60:00

W – Edland (Sabin), 63:00

W – Kimera (Ammann Koch-Ford), 77:00

Shots on goal – Whitefish 21, Libby 2; Corner kicks – Whitefish 10, Libby 0; Keeper saves – Whitefish 2 (Colter Upton, Will Peppmeier), Libby 11 (Elijah Smith); Fouls – Whitefish 13, Libby 5; Cards – Libby 1 yellow.

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