OAK PARK HEIGHTS — Playing its final tune-up before opening Suburban East Conference play against defending champion White Bear Lake, the Stillwater girls’ soccer team fell to Hill-Murray 3-2 in Wednesday’s nonconference game at Pony Stadium.
It marked the first loss of the season for the Ponies (2-1) and the first victory for Hill-Murray (1-3).
Larissa Colvin scored 14 minutes into the game to provide Stillwater a 1-0 lead, but the Pioneers answered just two minutes apart with goals by Ella French and Kenzie Pater in the 32nd and 34th minute to grab a 2-1 leading during a hectic few minutes of play late in the first half.
Stillwater responded quickly, however, to tie the game after Leah Nitardy knocked in a corner kick from Lexie Andres in the 35th minute.
“That was kind of uncharacteristic to give up two quick goals like that, but it was good we got one back,” Stillwater coach Mike Huber said. “We can let up goals like that.”
The Ponies outshot Hill-Murray 14-8, but missed opportunities proved costly after the Pioneers scored the game-winner on a breakaway by Julianna Gernes with five minutes remaining in the game.
“Besides giving up the goals that we did, I think we controlled the majority of the game and we had plenty of good chances to score,” Huber said. “We just didn’t capitalize on our chances — we probably had four or five breakaways that we missed. It’s a frustrating loss, because I think it’s a game we should have won. Tonight it was just not finishing the opportunities that we had and, defensively, not clearing the ball when we needed to.”
Hill-Murray 2 1 — 3
Stillwater 2 0 — 2
St — 14:00 — Larissa Colvin (Ali Schilling)
H-M — 32:00 — Ella French (Kristen Hackman)
H-M — 34:00 — Kenzie Prater (unassisted)
St — 35:00 — Leah Nitardy (Lexie Andres)
H-M — 35:00 — Julianna Gernes (unassisted)
Shots on goal — H-M: 8; St: 14.
Corner kicks — H-M: 1; St: 6.
Fouls — H-M: 3; St: 4.
Goalie saves — H-M: Emma Sloot 12; St: Megan Holthaus — 5.
Contact Stuart Groskreutz at email@example.com