OAK PARK HEIGHTS — After a scoreless opening half, the Stillwater boys’ soccer team did not waste any time after the intermission.
Maxwell Timmons scored just 56 seconds into the second half and that sparked a four-goal outburst that carried the Ponies to a 4-0 Suburban East Conference victory over Park on Wednesday, Sept. 6 at Stillwater Area High School.
It was the conference opener for the Ponies, who improved to 5-0 on the season. It was also the third consecutive shutout for Stillwater, which has outscored its opponents by a combined 10-0 during that stretch.
Timmons and the Ponies started quickly in the second half, shortly after coach Jake Smothers told them he wanted to see them more assertive on offense.
“The second half the big difference for us was we just attacked the goal with more ambition,” the coach said. “It was our halftime speech and adjustment and they responded right away.”
Then in the 64th minute, Jack Boucher volleyed a one-timer into the net on an assist from Daniel Muths to provide a 2-0 lead.
It was just a few minutes later that Spencer Scott scored on a corner kick for a three-goal cushion. Nick Purdie was credited with the assist.
“We were just quicker and more ambitious with the ball in the second half,” Smothers said. “I thought we played very well in both halves on possession, but we just did a much better job of getting to our crosses and second balls. In the first half, somebody would get to the ball, but not the second ball. We weren’t attacking the second ball on set pieces.”
Stillwater closed out the scoring when Maxwell Stauffer finished a pass from Hunter Stormoen to extend the lead to 4-0.
“We’ve been working on balancing our play more with adding possession and tonight we really demonstrated it well in both halves, so I was pleased with that,” Smothers said “It’s one thing to train and another to see it actually on the field.”
The Ponies outshot Park 22-1, with Fred LeClair making one save to notch the shutout.
“The last week was indicative of their potential,” Smothers said. “We won two games in two completely different ways and they give the coaching staff a lot to work with.”
• Stillwater extended its winning streak to 27 games since the start of last season, but that will be tested this weekend when the Ponies travel to Milwaukee to face highly regarded Marquette and Cedarburg.
Park 0 0 — 0
Stillwater 0 4 — 4
Stillwater 3, Rosemount 0
At Oak Park Heights, the Ponies struck for three goals in the opening half and cruised to a 3-0 nonconference victory over Rosemount on Friday, Sept. 1 at Stillwater Area High School.
“It was just a good nonconference game,” Ponies coach Jake Smothers said. “Both coaches were happy with how their teams played and it was a fun Friday night.”
Jack Boucher scored on an assist by Spencer Scott eight minutes into the first half to provide the early lead. Scott scored eight minutes later on a pass from Jorge Malon.
“It was interesting game,” Smothers said. “Rosemount kept the ball really well. Much like Hudson, they moved the ball well and had more possession so we had to change our game and take advantage of transition play. The second half things evened out, but it was good for us and the coaching staff to see some things we needed to work on.”
Stillwater extended its lead when Malon scored on a pass from Daniel Muths in the 22nd minute.
“Last year we wanted to win the ball after two or three passes, but with the Rosemount and Hudson games we were comfortable with Hudson making four or five and Rosemount seven, eight or nine passes. When we won the ball we would just counter quickly, but we don’t have to counter so directly. We trained that in and saw the results.”
Stillwater was also strong in the back.
“We’re doing a really nice job defensively of keeping the ball in front of us and keeping (goalkeepers) Freddie (LeClair) and Rayce (Johnson) clean,” Smothers said.
Rosemount 0 0 — 0
Stillwater 3 0 — 3
Contact Stuart Groskreutz at [email protected]