HASTINGS — Junior midfielder Caroline Meier scored her first varsity goal during Stillwater’s 9-0 Suburban East Conference girls’ soccer victory over Hastings on Thursday night. She enjoyed it so much, she topped off the evening with her first-ever hat trick as part of a convincing victory for the Ponies at McNamara Stadium.
Natalie Johnson struck first for the Ponies (1-2 SEC, 4-3) in the eighth minute of the game, but also suffered a knee injury with about five minutes remaining in the first half and did not return. Huber was unsure about the severity of the knee injury, but the versatile senior is one of the team’s top performers.
Hastings kept the game close until late in the first half when Meier scored her first goal with three minutes remaining and Leah Nitardy followed with a goal in the 39th minute to provide a 3-0 halftime lead. Peri Hoff and Maddie Anderson were credited with the assists.
“Early on we kind of added to the frustration we’ve been having all season where the shots were right at the keeper or over,” Ponies coach Mike Huber said. “We weren’t finishing, which has been the story of the year so far. Once they started coming, we had a stretch of five goals in the first 20 minutes of the second half and about seven in a 30-minute stretch.”
Stillwater’s scoring outburst began in the second minute following intermission as Meier struck again on an assist by Natalie Weidner.
“Caroline had a great night,” Huber said. “She stepped in with more playing time and she did very well and scored some nice goals.”
Jaime Purdie collected back-to-back goals five minutes apart to build a 5-0 lead and also assisted on the next three goals to finish off a five-point game.
Meier scored her third goal in the 13th minute before Hoff and Rachel Glenna finished off the scoring for Stillwater in the 19th and 39th minute of the second half. Hoff and Glenna each joined Meier in scoring their first varsity goals on Thursday.
“Overall, I think the girls did a good job of keeping their focus and intensity up and doing some constructive things,” Huber said. “From my perspective, it was nice to get folks playing time and get girls in positions we haven’t seen and find out where they can help us. In a game like this it can get sloppy, and at Hastings it’s kind of a narrow field to begin with so it is different, but I think we played how we should and didn’t really let up in the second half.”
The Ponies held a 25-1 advantage in shots on goal.
Stillwater 3 6 — 9
Hastings 0 0 — 0
St — 8:00 — Natalie Johnson (unassisted)
St — 37:00 — Caroline Meier (Peri Hoff)
St — 39:00 — Leah Nitardy (Maddie Anderson)
St — 2:00 — Meier (Natalie Weidner)
St — 5:00 — Jaime Purdie (unassisted)
St — 10:00 — Purdie (unassisted)
St — 13:00 — Meier (Purdie)
St — 19:00 — Hoff (Purdie)
St — 39:00 — Rachel Glenna (Purdie)
Shots on goal — St: 25; Has: 1.
Corner kicks — St: 4; Has: 0.
Fouls — St: 3; Has: 1.
Goalie saves — St: Megan Holthaus 1; Has: NA 16.
Contact Stuart Groskreutz at email@example.com