OAK PARK HEIGHTS — The Stillwater boys’ soccer team played Roseville to a 1-all tie on Tuesday, damaging the Suburban East Conference title hopes for the Ponies with just one regular season game remaining.
With its 2-0 victory over Park on Tuesday, Mounds View (7-1-0 SEC, 11-2-0) has overtaken the Ponies in the conference standings with 21 points. Stillwater (6-0-2, 10-1-4) can still win the SEC outright with a victory over White Bear Lake on Thursday and a Mounds View tie or loss. The Mustangs travel to Woodbury (4-3-1, 6-7-1) for their final league game on Thursday.
The Raiders (6-1-1, 8-4-3) scored midway through the first half to grab a 1-0 lead and Stillwater evened the score when Brett Balder scored eight minutes into the second half off a free kick by Roma Devine.
“Roma was everywhere,” Ponies coach Phil Johnson said. “He sacrificed so much for the team.”
Nathan Purdie and Sam Rasmussen suffered injuries for the Ponies, who were already hampered with Charlie Farrington and Cole Bardwell banged up, the coach suggested.
“The bench stepped in, especially Jeff Canterbury, Tashi Tsering and Brett Balder,” Johnson said. “Tashi, who plays sparingly in the central mid, was outstanding as Nathan’s replacement. He knew the urgency and played a tough, effective game.”
Ben Wilhelm finished with five saves in goal for the Ponies.
“Ben had a great game, as well as unsung hero and leader Kevin Meads,” Johnson said.
Roseville 1 0 0 — 1
Stillwater 0 1 0 — 1
Ros — 17:28 — NA
St — 8:09 — Brett Balder (Roma Devine)
Shots on goal — Ros: 6; St: 9.
Corner kicks — Ros: 4; St: 5.
Fouls — Ros: 16; St: 7.
Goalie saves — Ros: Jordan Burich 8; St: Ben Wilhelm 5.