By STUART GROSKREUTZ
OAK PARK HEIGHTS – It was the Stillwater midfielders who went on the attack on Monday while scoring six goals in a 7-6 overtime victory over East Ridge in a Suburban East Conference game at Stillwater Area High School.
The Ponies (5-1 SEC, 6-4) jumped out to a 3-0 lead and never trailed in the game, but there were some anxious moments late in regulation after East Ridge tied the game at 6-all.
"They fought hard in the fourth and we had a bad fourth quarter," Stillwater coach Travis Sanders said.
Sam Mathieu scored on a pass from Sam Sagissor late in the fourth for a 6-5 lead, but the Ponies committed a turnover and drew a penalty with about a minute remaining to help the Raptors even the score.
Christ Rick saved the Ponies in overtime, however, after securing the center draw and racing through traffic and burying the game-winner – a sequence that took about 10 seconds.
"He did the whole thing," Sanders said. "We won the face-off, ran through their defense and shot and scored. It was quick."
Midfielders Charlie Register and Mitchell Caywood led the Ponies with two goals apiece while Nick Athmann also notched a goal. Jeff Peterson, Rick and George Uppgren joined Rick with one assist apiece.
"The one positive we take away is we are getting some scoring from our middies," Sanders said. "The majority of our scoring this season has come from the attack, so that was good to see them get some goals, and Chris did a really good job on face-offs."
Jeff Burridge finished with nine saves in goal for the Ponies and currently ranks 10th in the state with a .600 save percentage.
"I thought Burridge played well in net again," Sanders said. "It was a lot of little things. We weren’t very judicial with some of our shots and their goalie played well. They really came to play and wanted the win. We feel fortunate to come out with a W, even though we didn’t play our game very well. A win is a win."
Goals – St, Charlie Register 2, Mitchell Caywood 2, Sam Mathieu, Nick Athmann and Chris Rick.
Assists – St, Jeff Peterson, Rick, Sam Sagissor and George Uppgren.
Saves – St, Jeff Burridge 9.