Girls soccer: Ponies play 10th-ranked Woodbury to draw

Gazette photo by Scott Ertle
Stillwater’s Ali Schilling uses her head to advance the ball during Thursday’s Suburban East Conference girls’ soccer game against Woodbury at Stillwater Area High School. The Ponies and Royals played to a scoreless tie.

OAK PARK HEIGHTS — A lop-sided advantage in shots on net did not translate to goals for the Stillwater girls’ soccer team on Thursday night at Pony Stadium.

The Ponies played 10th-ranked Woodbury to a scoreless tie after Royals goalkeeper Liz Sampson turned away 14 shots, including four in overtime. Stillwater (3-1-1 SEC, 5-3-2) did stretch its unbeaten streak to five games during a challenging week that also included a victory over previously unbeaten and ninth-ranked Park on Tuesday.

White Bear Lake (5-0-0, 9-1-0) with 15 points remains the only team without a loss or tie in conference play while the Ponies, Park (3-1-1, 8-1-2) and Roseville (3-1-1, 7-2-1) are tied for second with 10 points.

“Coming into the week if you had asked, I would have taken a win and a tie before the week started,” Ponies coach Mike Huber said. “We could have had two wins, but the tie is not going to hurt us and we have four conference games left so there’s plenty of opportunities.

“We actually played really well and we worked hard. Their keeper made some great saves to keep them in the game.”

Stillwater goalkeeper Megan Holthaus stopped all five of the shots she faced, including a dangerous scramble off a free kick in overtime when a Ponies defender helped clear it off the goal line.

Shelby Litchy, Maddie Anderson and Hannah Okerstrom each scared the net, but Sampson paid her dues to earn the shutout, including some finger-tip saves on Stillwater’s better scoring chances.

“We had a lot of great chances,” Huber said. “There was a lot of action, especially more for our offense. For a scoreless game, there were a lot of good opportunities. Even though it was a tie, we played well and I can’t complain.”

The coach credited junior midfielder Leah Nitardy with a stellar game and one of the reasons Stillwater was on the attack more than its heel.

“Leah was just great in our center mid,” Huber said. “She won a lot of balls in the air, a lot of 50-50 balls. She kept the ball on their end of the field and just had a fantastic game in the middle of the field. I think she probably won 80 or 90 percent of all the head balls in the middle.”


Woodbury            0            0            0            —            0

Stillwater            0            0            0            —            0


Shots on goal — Wo: 5; St: 14.

Corner kicks — Wo: 2; St: 6.

Fouls — Wo: 9; St: 11.

Goalie saves — Wo: Liz Sampson 14; St: Megan Holthaus 5.