Postseason playoff action for Class A soccer begins today with one play-in match each for boys and girls.
And it involves No. 2 and 3 seeded teams this year from Northern A. Last year it was Eastern A.
The Bigfork boys (6-5-1) welcome Libby (6-5-1) in a 4:30 p.m. contest at Carlyle-Johnson Park. For the girls, Whitefish (9-3-0) entertains Libby (2-7-3) at Smith Fields at 4 p.m.
Both winners move on to also host first-round matches, which start Saturday. The boys winner will entertain Stevensville (7-4-1). The girls winner will square off with Corvallis (5-6-1).
The Bigfork and Libby boys can expect another tight battle when they meet for a third time.
Bigfork beat Libby 2-1 in Bigfork on Sept. 1 on a pair of first half goals by Kyle Thompson. Johnny Davidson scored for Libby in the 75th minute.
In their second meeting of the season, that one ended in a 1-1 draw on Sept. 20 in Libby. Adam Neisess scored three minutes into the second half to knot the score for Libby. Tyler Zavala scored for Bigfork at 24 minutes.
“(Two) well-balanced clubs,” Bigfork coach Keith Koslosky said of the matchup.
“I always like playing (Libby coach) Charlie Webster’s teams. They are well prepared and his kids play hard.”
Bigfork is 3-2 in home matches this season.
“I’d love for it (season) to continue,” Koslosky said. “It would be really nice. These kids have it in them. They just have to play as a team, believe in themselves and they’ll be fine.”
Bigfork is currently enjoying its best season record-wise on the pitch. The last time the Vikings made the playoffs was 2008. They lost 3-1 to Libby in the semifinals.
“I hope everyone wears something blue (today) to support the Vikings and something pink in support Breast Cancer Awareness month,’’ Koslosky said.
The Whitefish girls have dominated both outings with Libby.
The Bulldogs and Loggers closed out regular-season play on Saturday with WHS posting a 5-0 victory at Smith Fields.
In the first meeting, Whitefish rolled to a 13-2 win on Aug. 31 in Libby.
Caroline Carbo, a junior midfielder, had six assists and two goals in that one. Megan Danczyk, a senior midfielder/forward, had two goals and four assists.
Danczyk had a hat trick on Saturday to pace the Bulldogs offensively.
For the season, Danczyk leads WHS with 14 goals and 15 assists.
Every player on the Bulldogs roster has either scored a goal or has an assist. That includes keeper Piper Greenwood.
“We’re looking forward to getting the playoffs started,” Whitefish coach Wendy Farrens said.
“It’s been a good season so far. We’re looking to capitalize on everything we’ve been working on.”
Whitefish has lost just once at home this fall.
State A Playoffs
4:30 p.m. – Libby (6-5-1) at Bigfork (6-5-1)
TBD – Stevensville (7-4-1) at Libby-Bigfork winner
TBD – Belgrade at Frenchtown (7-2-2)
12:30 p.m. – Corvallis (7-3-2) at Billings Central
1 p.m. – Livingston at Whitefish (12-0-0)
4 p.m. – Libby (2-7-3) at Whitefish (9-3-0)
TBD – Corvallis (5-6-1) at Libby-Whitefish winner
TBD – Laurel at Columbia Falls (10-1-1)
TBD – Livingston at Hamilton (9-2-1)
10 a.m. – Frenchtown (4-5-2) at Billings Central