Boys soccer: Balanced Ponies thump Raiders

Gazette photos by Stuart Groskreutz
Stillwater midfielder Jared Allen races past a Hastings defender during Thursday’s Suburban East Conference victory over the Raiders at Pony Stadium.

OAK PARK HEIGHTS — Stillwater’s balanced attack was on display again on Thursday while defeating Hastings 4-0 in a Suburban East Conference boys’ soccer game at Stillwater Area High School.

Stillwater’s Roma Devine heads this ball past Hastings goalkeeper Ian Johnson, below, and into the net for Stillwater’s four goal during Thursday’s Suburban East Conference victory over the Raiders at Pony Stadium.

The Ponies (1-0 SEC, 3-0) have outscored their three opponents by a combined 10-0 this season — and when Sam Rasmussen scored two minutes into the game on an assist by Alex Jurcoi he became the seventh different player to account for Stillwater’s first seven goals this season.

“It’s real distributed,” Ponies coach Phil Johnson said. “I love the distribution, the sharing and the hard work. It’s a hedge against one person being cold or being out of sync.”

Stillwater held a 23-2 advantage in shots on goal and remained in control throughout. Sam Keran became the first two-goal scorer for the Ponies this season while providing a 2-0 lead midway through the first half after knocking in a crossing pass from Cole Cardwell.

Rasmussen and Roma Devine scored just a minute apart early in the second half as Stillwater increased its lead to 4-0. Rasmussen knocked in his goal from short range after a shot by Patrick Roth, who also assisted on Devine’s header on the backside for his second goal of the season.

“I thought we knocked the ball around and we wanted to possess,” Johnson said. “We took the ball on the flanks and made some wonderful crosses. We had a few sitters, which are balls right at our feet, and we hit the keeper or it was blocked, so the process was right. The attacking third is happening.”

Stillwater also allowed few opportunities in the game, with Ben Wilhelm and Vince Anderson combining on the shutout.

“We’re very pleased to have limited their chances on goal,” Johnson said. “We defined ourselves much better in the defense and Roma and Nathan (Purdie) are just owning the central part of the field with their good control and hard work.”

n Stillwater will host Youth Night on Thursday when Mounds View arrives for an SEC game at 5 p.m. All young players from the VAA and St. Croix Soccer Club  who are wearing their jersey are admitted free.


Hastings            0            0            —            0

Stillwater            2            2            —            4



St — 2:00 — Sam Rasmussen (Alex Jurcoi)

St — 24:00 — Sam Keran (Cole Bardwell)

St — 6:00 — Rasmussen (Patrick Roth)

St — 7:00 — Roma Devine (Roth)


Shots on goal — Has: 2; St: 23.

Corner kicks — Has: 3; St: 6.

Fouls — Has: 4; St: 8.

Goalie saves — Has: Ian Johnson 19; St: Ben Wilhelm 2 and Vince Anderson 0.