Boys soccer: Ponies pull away from Totino-Grace

 

OAK PARK HEIGHTS — Alex Jurcoi and Patrick Roth each delivered two goals to help carry the Stillwater boys’ soccer team to a 4-1 nonconference victory over Totino-Grace on Saturday at Pony Stadium.

The Ponies (5-0-1 SEC, 9-1-2), who outshot the Eagles 15-8, remain unbeaten in their past eight games.

Stillwater also defeated Forest Lake 3-1 in a conference game on Tuesday, but additional information from that game was not available at presstime.

With less than a minute remaining in the first half, Jurcoi broke a scoreless tie for Stillwater after heading in a deep crossing pass from Sam Rasmussen.

The Eagles evened the score in the 24th minute of the second half when Jackson Richards scored on a penalty kick — a goal that tied the game for Totino-Grace, but provided a spark for Stillwater.

Jurcoi scored his second goal just three minutes later after knocking in a rebound that rattled around in the box. The sequence, which also included Kevin Meads, was started on a corner kick by Nathan Purdie.

Stillwater wasn’t finished as Roth scored in the 30th minute after stopping and controlling a hard, low pass from Jared Allen and driving a quick strike past goalkeeper Brandon Hilliard for a 3-1 lead.

Roth struck again four minutes later on a feed from James Menzies for a 4-1 advantage.

“We had a lot of good opportunities and it was a very good game for us,” Ponies coach Phil Johnson said. “It was missed opportunities (in the first half), but the opportunities were there.

“Our passing was on the money and went through Roma (Devine) and Nate (Purdie). I was very pleased with a lot more precision in our passing, especially when we built momentum in that second half. That 10-minute stretch there we were just on.”

n Prior to the varsity game against Totino-Grace, the Ponies hosted JV and B-squad tournaments on Saturday at SAHS.

Stillwater won the B-squad tournament after knocking off Totino-Grace 3-1 in the opener and blanking Mahtomedi 3-0 in the championship game.

In the JV tournament, Stillwater played Totino-Grace to a 1-all tie, but lost in a shootout before posting a 3-0 victory over Mahtomedi in the third-place game. Totino-Grace went on to defeat Hudson in the title game, also in a shootout.

“It was a great tournament,” Johnson said. “It was a cool morning, but it was a great tournament and lots of families there.”

 

Totino-Grace            0            1            —            1

Stillwater            1            3            —            4

 

Scoring

St — 39:00 — Alex Jurcoi (Sam Rasmussen)

T-G — 24:00 — Jackson Richards (penalty kick)

St — 27:00 — Jurcoi (unassisted)

St — 30:00 — Patrick Roth (Jared Allen)

St — 34:00 — Roth (James Menzies)

 

Shots on goal — T-G: 8; St: 15.

Corner kicks — T-G: 2; St: 10.

Fouls — T-G: 6; St: 4.

Goalie saves — T-G: Brandon Hilliard 11; St: Ben Wilhelm 7.

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