The Whitfield Warriors and coach Mike Quante overcame not having a home field to practice and play on this season.
It never became an issue or an excuse for them.
Because of their can-do attitude and ability to adjust, the road Warriors are still playing.
Whitfield defeated Lutheran St. Charles 1-0 in two overtimes to win the Class 2 District 6 tournament. The Warriors (7-12) advance to play St. Charles West (22-1) at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Creve Couer Soccer Complex on Field No. 1.
“St. Charles West has had a very good season and they possess many players that any school would like to have,” Quante said. “We played them earlier in the year and lost 3-1. They are strong, athletic, and have several players that can score goals. We are looking forward to playing them and testing ourselves against a quality opponent.”
The PGA Championship held at Bellerive Country Club last August took over Whitfield School’s facilities. Whitfield is located across Ladue Road from the country club.
The boys soccer program lost it’s home field because media trucks for the golf tournament were parked on the Whitfield soccer field. The turf was ripped up earlier this summer to make way for network TV operations.
It was something to be dealt with and then move on from, Quante said.
“This was not an impact for us as it was something we could not control,” Quante said. “We knew from the beginning of the season the situation and were able to deal with it from the start. (The) Creve Coeur Soccer Complex was great. The individuals responsible for scheduling and maintaining the facility were very good partners and accommodated us with everything we needed.
“The regular season, similar to all regular seasons has its positive and negatives. Every season is journey and each is unique to the team that year. Throughout the year, we learned from each game and improved our playing style from the feedback received each game, win or lose.”
Whitfield was seeded second going into district. Quante said he and the boys were pleased with the seeding.
“We did not look at it as fair or unfair, it was how the district seeding played out and we were happy to play both Sullivan and Lutheran St. Charles,” Quante said. “We knew both game would be competitive but they were also games we felt we had an opportunity to win.”
The Warriors were a good group to coach, Quante said.
“The team this year is a mix of freshman through seniors with the freshman playing a significant role on the attacking side of the ball,” Quante said. “We are led at the back by junior Ethan Butler and seniors Josh Leuther and Sean Boschert. The attacking side of the ball is dominated by freshman and sophomores. We had no expectations for the year other than continue to improve with each game and work to implement a playing style that highlights the qualities of each player.”
In the district semifinal, Whitfield defeated Sullivan 6-0 to advance.
“We played similar to the way we have played in almost every game. We wanted to control the ball through our positioning and passing,” Quante said. “We were able to do this and created several goal scoring opportunities in both the first half and second half. Fortunately for the team, they were able to capitalize on those opportunities in the second half.”
The Warriors met Lutheran St. Charles for district title.
“There is a some history with Lutheran St. Charles and we knew the game was going to be competitive,” Quante said.
It was a hard-fought game. Whitfield prevailed by scoring the only goal late in the second overtime period.
“It was a quality game for the boys. We stuck to our playing principles and were able to again generate several quality scoring opportunities,” Quante said. “We also knew Lutheran had several players who have caused problems for teams with their athleticism and pace. We structured ourselves to maintain possession and at the same time limit the number of counter attacks created by them.”
A pair of freshman combined to produce the game’s lone goal. Jimmy Milgie scored the winning goal. The assist came from Micha Norman.
“Jimmy continued to control his emotions and thoughts as he had missed a couple of scoring opportunities earlier in the game,” Quante said. “With three minutes left in the second overtime, Jimmy positioned himself between their defenders and got on the end of a pass in behind the defense. His finished the ball into the far post and low to the goalkeepers right side.”
Milgie has had a solid first season playing on the varsity, Quante said.
“Jimmy is a freshman playing against juniors and seniors,” Quante said. “He is doing well having scored 10 goals with two assists. People struggle to realize he, along with several other freshman on the team, are playing three to four years up. He is one of our most effective players and he will continue to do well this year and in the upcoming three years.”
The victory gave Whitfield its first district championship since 2013. It was a feel-good situation for his team, Quante said.
“The team was extremely excited,” Quante said. “This was our first district championship since 2013 and the first these guys have experienced. Whitfield has a strong tradition as a soccer program as they guys were excited to once again build on that tradition.”