High School Sports


Whitefish boys win 2nd straight State A soccer title

Posted at 2:05 PM, Nov 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-02 20:21:48-04

LAUREL -- Whitefish continued its onslaught on history Saturday at the Laurel Sports Complex.

The Bulldogs scored in the third minute of the Class A state boys soccer championship and pulled away for a 4-0 victory over Laurel, securing their second consecutive title and extending their unbeaten streak to 30 matches.

"I thought the boys played really hard," said Whitefish senior Sam Menicke. "We were tough the whole game, we played our soccer. We got it done, so really stoked about that."

Ian Lacey struck first for Whitefish, smashing in the match's first goal off a corner kick. From there, though, Laurel, which was making the first championship appearance in program history, played well and stayed within striking distance.

"They were really good defensively, they were really stout in the back, and we had trouble finishing our chances," said Menicke. "But Ian scoring that corner kick really helped us get in our rhythm. It was good to get an early goal."

Still, the Locomotives weathered the early storm and pieced together multiple chances at the equalizer -- especially early in the second half -- but they couldn't find the back of the net. Ultimately, Whitefish's record-setting offense found its stride.

"(Laurel) played super hard," said Casey Schneider, another Whitefish senior. "Yeah, it was scary. We got that first goal, then it kind of backed up a little bit. We couldn't finish. But I knew it was coming. I knew our guys had it in them."

"Once they had to start pushing forward, we were able to expose that a little bit, and it all came together," Lacey said.

And it came together in a hurry.

Schneider assisted Menicke in the 55th minute for a 2-0 lead, and then Schneider added his own goal 20 minutes later when he got behind the Laurel defense and pushed a goal past the rushing keeper. Josh Gunderson added the Bulldogs' fourth goal on a penalty kick moments later.

The four goals brought Whitefish's total to 102 on the season, breaking the old program record of 97 goals in a single season.

"Goals win games, that's our team motto, and we showed that this year," Menicke said.

"It's just the best way it could've ended for us, and I feel so grateful to be a part of this team," Schneider added.

(This story will be updated with game highlights.)