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Bulldogs' needle hits 'E' in 3-0 loss to state champion Whitfie
Playing its second game in two nights, the Notre Dame soccer team ran out of gas Friday night in a 3-0 loss to defending Class 1 state champion Whitfield.
"It's probably not a good scheduling idea to play on the road Thursday night and then play a defending state champion Friday night," Notre Dame coach Brad Wittenborn said. "We probably got a little tired in the second half, and that affects your decision-making. It was a good opportunity. If we get to the final four, you have to play back to back against good competition."
Notre Dame (3-2), a Class 2 team, got a taste of final four-caliber competition Friday night. Whitfield (3-3), which has won the last two Class 1 titles, scored one goal in the first half on a header and broke the game open with two in the second half. The first two goals were scored on headers off of crossing kicks; the final was a 40-yard blast by Jon Schultz with 3 minutes to play after he had danced through some Notre Dame players.
"I didn't think it was a 3-0 type of game," Wittenborn said. "We played hard. We tried to force the ball up the middle of the field too much. When we didn't do that, we created some pretty good chances.
"All in all, I didn't think they were more athletic than us, and I didn't think they were more skilled than us. They probably held their form and possessed the ball better."
The teams had even pressure through the first half of the first half with Whitfield keeper Peter Greathouse going over the top of Notre Dame forwards on two occasions to grab free balls.
But with 18:12 to play in the half, Whitfield's Andrew McLeod took the ball up the right wing and centered for Ryan Vines, who headed the ball into the goal.
Vines had another header directed toward the goal in the second half but defender Kyle Schade turned the ball away on the goal line.
Joel Schifano headed in Whitfield's second goal on a restart kick from Vines.
Bulldogs keeper Nathan Kolda had allowed just one goal in seven halves of play previous to the game.
"When they make that crossing pass and guy on the far post to head it in, that's pretty tough on a goalie," Wittenborn said. "They got too good a look."