OAK PARK HEIGHTS — Unable to maintain its pace from a solid first half, the Stillwater girls’ soccer team finally cracked as Mounds View broke through for the lone goal in a 1-0 Suburban East Conference victory on Thursday at Pony Stadium.
The Ponies (2-3 SEC, 6-4), who have been decimated by injuries, played well for the most part against the conference-leader Mustangs (5-0, 9-0). Mounds View has outscored its conference opponents by a combined 21-2 this season.
Stillwater is still missing several players because of a variety of injuries and played with just three bench players available on Thursday.
“We don’t have the subs, and we have girls that haven’t played a lot of minutes and now they’re thrown into playing a lot of minutes it does make a difference,” Ponies coach Mike Huber said. “Definitely with the injury thing and all things considered with playing the eighth-ranked team in the state and they’re undefeated, even though you lose 1-0 it’s not a great thing, but there’s some positives to take out of it, too.”
Rachel Boyer broke a scoreless tie in the 56th minute on an assist by Heather Ley. Mounds View’s pressure began with a corner kick that returned to the box a few times and the Ponies were unable to clear it before Boyer punched it in after a scramble in traffic.
“For the first half we actually played very well,” Huber said. “We were aggressive and we had them on their heels at times. The second half we just ran out of gas. Our passes were off and we were chasing it over the place in the second half.”
Stillwater actually held a 3-2 edge in shots on goal during the first half, but the Mustangs took over while outshooting the Ponies 9-1 after the intermission.
Christina Bartingale finished with 10 saves for the Ponies, who will likely be without several players for Saturday’s game with Burnsville.
“Hopefully we can get some of our injured players back next week,” Huber said.
Mounds View 0 1 — 1
Stillwater 0 0 — 0
MV — 56:00 — Rachel Boyer (Heather Ley)
Shots on goal — MV: 11; St: 4.
Corner kicks — MV: 6; St: 2.
Fouls — MV: 9; St: 14.
Goalie saves — MV: Erika Johnson 4; St: Christina Bartingale 10.
Contact Stuart Groskreutz at email@example.com