OAK PARK HEIGHTS — An early goal was not a sign of things to come for the Stillwater boys’ soccer team, which played Hill-Murray to a 1-all tie in Saturday’s nonconference game at Stillwater Area High School.
The fourth-ranked Ponies (6-1-2) were held scoreless over the last 77 minutes of regulation and overtime, despite holding a 9-5 advantage in shots on goal.
“After we scored, we went lifeless and it was a lack of energy, lack of mental toughness and we just didn’t press the attack,” Stillwater coach Phil Johnson said. “It brought them back into the game and they did a good job in scoring in the second half and taking us right through overtime.”
Sam Rasmussen scored three minutes into the game after Patrick Roth took the ball to the line and cut it back to Rasmussen, who finished through a crowd of players for a 1-0 lead.
In addition to outshooting Hill-Murray, the Ponies attempted eight corner kicks, compared to just two for their opponents. After putting six shots on goal in the first half, Stillwater managed just two in the second half and one in overtime.
“It was an overall malaise with the team’s play and they knew it,” Johnson said. “We took our foot off the pedal everywhere. It’s still a wonderful group and they are solving problems, but we didn’t bring our quality to the game.”
The Pioneers eventually broke through in the 10th minute of the second half as Shae Bottum drilled a shot from the top of the box past goalkeeper Ben Wilhelm to even the score at 1-all.
“It was a really good shot,” Johnson said.
Hill-Murray 0 1 0 — 1
Stillwater 1 0 0 — 1
St — 3:00 — Sam Rasmussen (Patrick Roth)
H-M — 10:00 — Shae Bottum
Shots on goal — H-M: 5; St: 9.
Corner kicks — H-M: 2; St: 8.
Fouls — H-M: 6; St: 6.
Goalie saves — H-M: Joseph Schaefer 8; St: Ben Wilhelm 4.