OAK PARK HEIGHTS — Stillwater applied most of the pressure, but it was Robbinsdale Armstrong which broke through for the only goal of the game in Saturday’s 1-0 nonconference girls’ soccer victory over the Ponies at Stillwater Area High School.
The Ponies (1-1) held a 19-9 advantage in shots on goal, but Armstrong goalkeeper Heather Kaluznick was up to the task while turning away all 19 shots to earn the shutout.
“It was a game we controlled,” Stillwater coach Mike Huber said. “We had a lot of chances and just couldn’t score.”
Following a scoreless first half, it was Mariah Haverle who provided the game-winner for the Falcons in the 34th minute, drilling a shot past goalkeeper Megan Holthaus and into the low right corner of the net.
“I would say we really controlled the first half and they didn’t really get any offensive pressure on us at all,” Huber said. “We played really well until they scored the goal and we just didn’t create any great opportunities in the last 10 minutes.
“Especially after pounding on their door for so long and not being able to get one. It was probably really their first legitimate shot on goal, really their only decent opportunity and they scored. We had about a dozen and didn’t score once. Their keeper did a good job, too, she made some good saves and kept them in it.”
Senior Hannah Okerstrom created many of Stillwater’s better scoring chances, both for herself and teammates.
“She was quick and got down the line and served a lot of balls in,” Huber said. “She was the best player on the field.”
It was a disappointing loss, but the coach said they will keep it in perspective in preparation for the Suburban East Conference opener on Thursday against Hastings.
“It was frustrating, but I think it’s something we can learn from,” Huber said. “The good thing for us is it happened early in the year. We’d rather have it happen now and we just need to learn we have to finish some opportunities when we get them and keep fighting the full 80 minutes.”
Robbinsdale Armstrong 0 1 — 1
Stillwater 0 0 — 0
RA — 34:00 — Mariah Haverle
Shots on goal — RA: 9; St: 19.
Corner kicks — RA: 1; St: 7.
Fouls — RA: 8; St: 6.
Goalie saves — RA: Heather Kaluznick, 19; St: Megan Holthaus, 8.