MAHTOMEDI — Audrey Sexson scored in the final minute of overtime to lift Mahtomedi to a 2-1 girls’ soccer victory over Stillwater on Tuesday, Sept. 5.
It was a disappointing setback for the Ponies (2-1-1), who are ranked ninth in the most recent state coaches poll, but coach Mike Huber is hoping the team can learn from it.
“It was a good lesson to learn early in the season,” the coach said. “We learned some things that hopefully won’t be repeated as we move through the conference and section.”
Stillwater trailed 1-0 until junior Halle Peterson scored in the 65th minute to even the score at 1-all. Peterson’s goal started with a corner kick from Dara Andringa and Peterson stuffed it in after a scramble in front of the net.
Mahtomedi played conservatively on offense and did not allow the Ponies much room to operate in its half of the field.
The game plan proved even more effective after Lauren Heinsch scored in the 24th minute to provide a 1-0 lead.
“They had six or seven players defending at all times,” Huber said. “Once they scored they really didn’t look to attack at all.”
The Ponies held a 12-6 advantage in shots on goal, but were unable to take advantage of their other scoring chances.
“We controlled the majority of the game,” Huber said. “We just didn’t get the bounces and it didn’t go our way, which will happen.
“We had probably four or five opportunities off free kicks that got laid in the box, but shot just barely wide. They had a lot of defenders back that clogged up a lot of the middle of the field so most of our opportunities came off crosses and free kicks, but they just didn’t go in.”
Evie Kohn finished with three saves for the Ponies.
Stillwater 0 1 0 — 1
Mahtomedi 1 0 1 — 2
Mah — 24:00 — Lauren Heinsch
St — 65:00 — Halle Peterson (Dara Andringa)
Mah — 90:00 — Audrey Sexson
Shots on goal — St: 12; Mah: 6.
Corner kicks — St: 2; Mah: 2.
Fouls — St: 10; Mah: 7.
Goalie saves — St: Evie Kohn 3; Mah: NA 11.
Stillwater 3, Rosemount 0
At Oak Park Heights, playing another tough early season nonconference opponent, the Ponies scored late in the first half and carried that momentum to a 3-0 victory over reigning state runner-up Rosemount on Friday, Sept. 1 at Stillwater Area High School.
Dara Andringa scored directly off a corner kick in the 38th minute to provide a boost for the Ponies.
“I think that was a huge momentum swing,” Ponies coach Mike Huber said. “Rosemount was ranked No. 4 at the time, so they are a good team. For us to get a goal at the end of the first half was nice because that’s really the first lead we’ve had this year to open a game.”
The Ponies built on that lead in the second half, starting with Abby Begin’s goal on a penalty kick in the 50th minute. Hannah Beech then scored on an assist from Andringa with eight minutes remaining to provide the final margin.
“We played just as well the second half as the first,” Huber said. “It was a matter of capitalizing on the opportunities we had.”
Beech’s goal came on a header off a corner kick from Andringa.
“It’s nice to see that we’re finishing off of our set plays,” Huber said. “The majority of our goals this year are on corner kicks or free kicks, so we need to find other ways to score other than the set plays.”
Evie Kohn turned away three shots for the Ponies to notch the shutout.
“Overall, it was probably the best gave we’ve played defensively,” Huber said. “Our entire back line was solid and prevented them from getting any shots. It was our best game defensively and it helped getting that first goal, which is something we haven’t been accustomed to this year.”
Rosemount 0 0 — 0
Stillwater 1 2 — 3
St — 38:00 — Dara Andringa
St — 50:00 — Abby Begin
St — 72:00 — Hannah Beech (Andringa)
Shots on goal — Ros: 3; St: 8.
Corner kicks — Ros: 4; St: 3.
Fouls — Ros: 15; St: 7.
Goalie saves — Ros: NA 5; St: Evie Kohn 3.