Pushed inside the St. Croix Valley Rec Center for its eagerly anticipated season opener, the Stillwater girls’ lacrosse team unleashed some pent-up energy while toppling Park 21-3 in Wednesday’s Suburban East Conference game.
The defending conference champion Ponies (1-0 SEC, 1-0) scored twice in the opening minute of the game and dominated play throughout. Five different players scored Stillwater’s first five goals, but then Dana Almquist took over with five straight goals during a 2-minute, 10-second stretch as the Ponies built a 10-2 lead less than nine minutes into the game. Almquist totaled 10 goals in the first half as Stillwater opened up a 16-3 lead and finished with 11 goals in the game.
The young and inexperienced, by comparison, Wolfpack struggled to keep pace with the veteran Ponies, who were eager to play after 22 practices — all indoors — because of weather that has already forced three postponements this spring.
“They were ready to see someone else,” Ponies coach Rick Reidt said. “They had a lot of fun, but they played very hard. Park is a very young team but we played to our level, which was nice to see.”
Remi Larson contributed three goals for the Ponies while Emma Wiessner and Katie Casto added a goal each. Maggie Corman, Kate Sheely and Ellie Anderson — who scored her first varsity goal — also chipped in with a tally for Stillwater.
“Overall, our effort was very good,” Reidt said. “We had a fair number of unforced errors, but that happens when you have possession a lot. That’s something we’re working on improving.”
After Friday’s game at Mounds View and practice indoors on Saturday, Stillwater is hoping to get outside for practice by early next week. The spring conditions have been a challenge, especially when you consider the Ponies have had conducted nine of their practices from 5:30-7 a.m. — including one that came the morning after practicing from 9-10:30 p.m.
“We have not missed a practice so despite the problems we’ve had with the weather, we’re very well prepared right now,” Reidt said. “The girls were ready to play and they know what they are doing. It’s a senior-based team and that helps out.”
Marie Bonine finished with seven saves in goal for the Ponies.
l Also on Wednesday, the Stillwater JV team opened its season with a 14-0 victory over Park. Olivia Arkell, Hannah Hoefferle, Tori Dahl, Megan Warbalow, Natalie Crepeau and Lisse Bohan totaled two goals apiece for the Ponies (1-0). Brittany Pooley and Katie Lottsfeldt combined for the shutout in goal.
Park 3 0 — 3
Stillwater 16 5 — 21
Goals — St, Dana Almquist 11, Remi Larson 3, Emma Wiessner 2, Katie Casto 2, Maggie Corman, Kate Sheely and Ellie Anderson.
Assists — St, Wiessner 2, Carter Sanderson 2, Almquist and Larson.
Saves — St, Marie Bonine 7.