OAK PARK HEIGHTS — Jumping out to another fast start, the Stillwater boys’ lacrosse team cruised to a 14-2 Suburban East Conference victory over Roseville on Monday at Stillwater Area High School.
The Ponies have outscored their opponents by a combined 22-0 in the first quarter through four games this season, improving to 4-0 in the process, including 2-0 in conference play.
It was also a rare opportunity to get outdoors after playing two weekend games at the St. Croix Valley Rec Center and having tonight’s scheduled game against Cretin-Derham Hall also moved to the dome in Stillwater.
“Weather conditions were immaculate, the type of weather that makes you forget being stuck inside gymnasiums and domes for the last month,” Clark said.
The play wasn’t bad, either, as the Ponies remained in control throughout. Sam Sagissor continued his early season scoring pace while finding the net eight times — giving him 22 goals to go along with eight assists this season. Sagissor also provided three assists while Matt Kaye added three goals and two assists. Nick Athmann, Mitch Caywood and George Uppgren also scored a goal each for Stillwater, which led 7-1 at halftime.
“We are starting to see the appropriate developmental steps,” Clark said. “Our coaching staff is pleased with the work our guys are putting in. One key to our success is every player buying into a program first, mentally.”
Senior Chris Rick played well while gaining possession on faceoffs, Clark suggested, and ranks among the state’s leaders with 34 ground balls this season.
“Chris Rick and our faceoff group has been phenomenal this season,” Clark said. “It is a huge competitive advantage for our team to gain extra possessions every game. There is no secret to it, they are just doing a great job grinding out ground balls.”
Zach Shockency finished with seven saves for the Ponies before giving way to reserves Blake Bornstein and Uppgren, who turned away 3 and 2 shots apiece.
Roseville 0 1 1 0 — 2
Stillwater 6 1 3 4 — 14
Goals — St, Sam Sagissor 8, Matt Kaye 3, Nick Athmann, Mitch Caywood and George Uppgren.
Assists — St, Sagissor 3, Kaye 2 and Harrison Yaste.
Saves — St, Zach Shockency 7, Blake Bornstein 3 and George Uppgren 2.
Stillwater 15, Hill-Murray 2
Sam Sagissor delivered four goals to lead a balanced attack as the Stillwater dispatched Hill-Murray 15-2 in Friday’s nonconference boys’ lacrosse game at the St. Croix Valley Rec Center. Jeff Petersen followed three goals for Stillwater (2-0) while Nick Athmann, Peyton Gosso and Matt Kaye chipped in with two apiece.
Zach Shockency turned away eight of the 10 shots he faced in goal for the Ponies, with help from defenders Luke Bromback and Pat Courteau.
“Luke executed our philosophy on clearing and transition, and brought lots of energy to our defense,” Ponies coach Ryan Clark said. “Pat played like a grinder and did a lot of small things that don’t show up in the stat book, like running out clears, taking a body on ground balls. He showed awareness while defending off the ball.”
The Ponies were stingy defensively while reducing their penalty minutes from 13 in the season opener to just 2 on Friday.
“The primary adjustment we made was that we stayed out of the penalty box,” Clark said. “When we play defense 6 vs. 6 we do a great job of communicating, covering our help defense and recovering back to our assignments.”
Hill-Murray 0 1 0 1 — 2
Stillwater 4 4 3 4 — 15
Goals — H-M, Austin Finnegan and Zach Droel; St, Sam Sagissor 4, Jeff Petersen 3, Nick Athmann 2, Peyton Gosso 2, Matt Kaye 2, George Uppgren and Brandon Jungmann.
Assists — St, Kaye 2, Harrison Yaste, Gosso, Jungmann, Sagissor and Uppgren.
Saves — H-M, Casey Ryan 15; St, Zach Shockency 8.
Stillwater 14, Delano 7
A fast start to begin each half helped propel the Ponies to a nonconference victory over Delano on Saturday at the St. Croix Valley Rec Center.
“This was Delano’s first game in the MSHSL. We knew they were going to bring the energy,” Stillwater coach Ryan Clark said. “I am really proud of my guys for winning, and winning the right way. They demonstrated class, hard work and respect. That is Stillwater lacrosse.”
Sam Sagissor set the scoring pace with five goals while teammate Nick Athmann scored three times. Robby Reiter, Harrison Yaste, Mitch Caywood, Brandon Jungmann, Jeff Petersen and George Uppgren also tallied a goal for the Ponies.
“We have a few student-athletes playing at a very high level right now,” Clark said. “Our attack is tough to stop right now. Our top three attack have combined for 38 points through three games. They are getting a lot of great opportunities because our midfielders are drawing help defense and our defenders are initiating transition opportunities.”
Zach Shockency finished with six saves in goal for the Ponies and Blake Bornstein stopped the only shot he faced after replacing Shockency.
Delano 0 3 1 3 — 7
Stillwater 6 1 5 2 — 14
Goals — St, Sam Sagissor 5, Nick Athmann 3, Robby Reiter, Harrison Yaste, Mitch Caywood, Brandon Jungmann, Jeff Petersen and George Uppgren.
Assists — St, Sagissor 2, Uppgren 2, Reiter, Petersen, Chris Rick and Matt Kaye.
Saves — St, Zach Shockency 6 and Blake Bornstein 1.