Boys soccer: Ponies blank Park 3-0

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COTTAGE GROVE — The Stillwater boys’ soccer team maintained its grip on first place in the Suburban East Conference with Tuesday’s 3-0 victory over Park.

The Ponies (4-0-0 SEC, 7-1-2), who are the only team without a loss in conference play, bounced back from an indifferent performance on Saturday to blank the Wolfpack (2-2, 4-5) on Tuesday.

“We used the word fresh start,” Stillwater coach Phil Johnson said. “The boys said this was a good fresh start.”

The Ponies broke the scoreless tie with four minutes remaining in the first half as Patrick Roth delivered the first of his two goals on an assist by Nathan Purdie, who won the ball in the midfield before pushing it forward to Roth.

“His speed was very evident against their back four,” Johnson said of Roth.

Stillwater extended its lead when Alex Jurcoi scored in the 25th minute of the second half for a 2-0 advantage. Roman Devine drilled a shot from inside the box that was wide of the net, but Alex Jurcoi was stationed at the post and knocked it in.

“Alex was rewarded for being in the right place on the far post,” Johnson said.

Roth struck again to close out the scoring with eight minutes remaining in the game, capping a sequence that began with Ryan Dopkins playing a pass to Roman Devine, who found Jared Allen with a pass to the far side.

“Allen danced with the ball for a moment and pushed it back across to Patrick, who just nudged it into the goal,” Johnson said.

Ben Wilhelm finished with five saves in goal for the Ponies, who have outscored their opponents 24-5 this season.

“Our central core was very strong,” Johnson said. “Rasmussen is notable for being so involved in every play as a withdrawn forward and Nathan and Roma combined in the middle with wonderful play, winning the ball, working hard and distribution. Charlie Farrington and Kevin Meads on the back line were just so simple and steady.”

 

Stillwater            1            2            —            3

Park            0            0            —            0

 

Scoring

St — 36:00 — Patrick Roth (Nathan Purdie)

St — 25:00 — Alex Jurcoi (Roman Devine)

St — 32:00 — Roth (Jared Allen)

 

Shots on goal — St: 11; Par: 5.

Corner kicks — St: 7; Par: 0.

Fouls — St: 8; Par: 8.

Goalie saves — St: Ben Wilhelm 5; Par: Jordan Gollner 8.

 

Alumni to be recognized at halftime on Thursday

It’s homecoming week at Stillwater Area High School and the Ponies will recognize their alumni soccer players during Thursday’s games against Woodbury.

Former Stillwater soccer players will be admitted free to the boys’ game at 5 p.m., and girls’ game at 7 p.m. Alumni are asked to sign in at the gate and will be recognized at halftime of those games against rival Woodbury.

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