OAK PARK HEIGHTS — The Stillwater girls’ soccer team snapped a five-game winless streak in impressive fashion on Thursday while knocking off Park 1-0 in its Suburban East Conference finale at Pony Stadium.
The Wolfpack (5-4 SEC, 11-4) entered the game having outscored its opponents 31-4 this season. Stillwater (3-5-1, 7-7-1) became just the fourth opponent to score against Park in 15 games this season.
“Park is a ranked team and was undefeated as of a week or so ago so we played really well and I think it just proves to our girls that when section comes they can beat and play with anybody,” Ponies coach Mike Huber said.
Stillwater was shut out in two of their previous three games, but Jaime Purdie delivered the game-winner midway through the second half on Thursday. Kallie Clements took possession in the midfield and laid a through ball into Purdie, who made a cut and drilled a hard shot into the far post from 15 yards out to provide the game’s only goal.
“They have some good, strong backs and our backs played well, too,” Huber said. “Neither team had a lot of great scoring opportunities. We hit a couple wide or beyond the goal, but nothing their keeper had to make any great saves and it was also true for (Ponies goalkeeper) Megan (Holthaus).”
The Ponies held an 8-5 advantage in shots on goal.
“Tonight was Senior Night and Parents Night and we used that as extra motivation,” Huber said. “We did not want to step on that field for the last time with a loss, so that provided some good motivation. It was a great team effort. Everyone got some minutes and the entire team stepped it up for the seniors and made it a special evening.”
The Ponies closed out the regular season at highly regarded Mahtomedi on Saturday, where they hope to build some mometum for the Section 4AA tournament that begins next week.
“Last year we won a lot of one-goal games nd this year we have been on the downside of those games so it’s going to take winning those one-goal games and when the playoffs come we’re going to need to prove we can win a tight game,” Huber said. “Tonight was a big stepping stone to say we can compete adn win these games. At this point, it’s not as much about skill as it is how much you want it.”
Park 0 0 — 0
Stillwater 0 1 — 1
St — 53:00 — Jaime Purdie (Kallie Clements)
Shots on goal — Par: 5; St: 8.
Corner kicks — Par: 2; St: 3.
Fouls — Par: 6; St: 7.
Goalie saves — Par: Emily Lange 7; St: Megan Holthaus 5.
Contact Stuart Groskreutz at email@example.com