The Columbia Falls soccer teams came away with a split in Whitefish last week as the girls picked up a 4-3 win while the boys squad fell 5-2.
Josie Windauer scored twice as the Wildkats overcame deficits twice in the opening half of their win over the Lady Bulldogs. Maddie Robison and LaKia Hill added goals in the second half to secure the victory.
Josie Schneider recorded a hat trick for Whitefish, but it was not enough as the Kat won their second conference game of the season to improve to 3-0 overall.
“We were down twice in the first half and were able to quickly answer with goals of our own. I think it is a testament to the kind of character this team has. We never go down easy and that makes this team special,” head coach Thomas Clark said. “Whitefish is a well-coached team and you always know it is going to be a challenge, but the girls got it done.”
Whitefish jumped out to a 1-0 lead 12 minutes in on a goal by Schneider but Flora Jarvis found Windauer for a goal to tie the game 11 minutes later. Schneider put Whitefish back on top at the 35-minute mark, but Windauer scored on an assist from Robison to tie the game at 2-2 at the break.
Robison put the Kats up for good at the 54-minute mark with an assist from Windauer and Hill’s shot just two minutes later bounced off the cross bar, but rolled back into the goal to put the Kats up 4-2.
Schneider added her third goal of the contest with just over 10 minutes to play, but Whitefish could not complete the comeback.
“Our first two opponents were tough, but Whitefish came out playing at a higher level than we have seen so far. We were a little shell-shocked at first, but we were able to adjust and get the win,” Clark said.
The Kats outshot the Lady Bulldogs, putting 10 shots on goal to Whitefish’s nine. Keeper Ave McDonald finished the contest with four saves.
The Wildcats faced a tough matchup in their contest as they took on a Whitefish boys’ team that lost just a single player from last season’s state championship squad.
Ian Lacey scored twice for the Bulldogs in the opening two minutes and the Wildcats never recovered as Whitefish went on to pick up a 5-2 win.
“Trying to get a win against that team was going to be a tall order, but on any given day any team can be beaten. They are the best team in the state right now and we knew it was going to be a tough matchup,” Wildcat head coach O’Brien Byrd said.
The Cats fell behind 3-0 before the break and went down 5-0 in the second half before Niels Getts got Columbia Falls on the board with a pair of goals late in the contest, one on an assist from Simon Magg.
Whitefish put 19 shots on goal to Columbia Falls’ seven and keeper Story Stemborski finished with four saves.
“We probably gave them too much respect in the first half and they made us pay for it. We showed more grit and resolve in the second half and were able to get a few by them. We proved they are human and that we can score on them. It should make for an exciting match when we face them at our place,” Byrd said.
The Cats will face the Bulldogs in Columbia Falls Oct. 1.
Columbia Falls will host its home opener this weekend as both teams take on Park Saturday. The girls are set to start at 10 a.m. while the boys game will start at noon.