OAK PARK HEIGHTS — After giving up the tying goal with 15 minutes remaining, the Ponies survived a strong push from Forest Lake down the stretch before finishing with a 2-all tie in their Suburban East Conference boys’ soccer game on Tuesday, Sept. 10 at Stillwater Area High School.
“I thought at 2-1 we were a lot closer to scoring a third goal than them scoring a second,” Ponies coach Jake Smothers said. “To give up a second, we were lucky to get out of there 2-2. The team really wobbled after that.”
Ethan Kilmer started the scoring for the Ponies (0-0-2 SEC, 2-2-3) with a breakaway goal in the eighth minute of play. Forest Lake (0-1-1, 3-3-1) answered 10 minutes later when Victor Rizzo turned and quickly fired a left-footed shot that curled into the upper left corner of the net from long rang to even the score at 1-all.
Liam Kilkelly scored off a corner kick in the 36th minute as the Ponies responded to carry a 2-1 lead into the intermission.
The Ponies were controlling much of the play and creating more opportunities for much of the second half until the Rangers pulled even on a goal by Carter Theisfeld in the 65th minute.
“There was some disappointment and some good things,” Smothers said. “Forest Lake is a much improved team and one of the better Forest lake teams I’ve seen in my seven years here. We got off to a good start, but we made some fundamental errors. We left the game too open at times and we failed to finish.”
Stillwater also had four starters sitting in the second half due to injuries and that eventually took a toll.
“We have to grow up a little bit,” Smothers said. “We’re getting a lot of minutes from younger players and that’s good, but we have to play a little bit more composed in certain moments. We’re very much a fine-margins team and our record shows that.
“We had a lot of opportunities to make it 3-1 and we didn’t and we tied 2-2 — and were lucky to get out of there 2-2.”
Forest Lake 1 1 — 2
Stillwater 2 0 — 2
St — 8:00 — Ethan Kilmer
FL — 18:00 — Victor Rizzo
St — 36:00 — Liam Kilkelly (Nick Purdie)
FL — 65:00 — Carter Theisfeld
Stillwater 1, S. Point 1
At Cedarburg, playing back-to-back games after a long road trip and a short night, Stillwater played Stevens Point to a 1-all tie in a nonconference game on Saturday, Sept. 7 at Cedarburg High School.
The Ponies have participated in this Minnesota/Wisconsin quadrangular — Stillwater traveled with Hudson to the Milwaukee-area suburb — since 1997. The Ponies upended Cedarburg 3-0 the previous evening, but could not quite finish off the sweep.
Joe Young struck for the Ponies on an assist from Carson Arco just three minutes into the game.
Stevens Point (5-1-1) answered in the 55th minute with a goal from Nic Miscewicz to even the score.
“We weren’t dominating the game, but we were in control of the game,” Ponies coach Jake Smothers said. “It was one of those things where we had tired legs, tired minds and tired bodies. We needed somebody fresh to come in and make an impact and we couldn’t get it.”
Stevens Point defeated Hudson 2-1 in its first game.
“We played well,” Smothers said. “We controlled the game really well, but made one mistake defensively and they scored. That second game over there is always tough.
“It was a good weekend. We looked confident and the kids had a good time. It was a good trip, we love doing it. Cedarburg has a new coach, but we’ve already talked about continuing this tradition.”
Stillwater 1 0 — 1
Stevens Point 1 0 — 1
St — 3:00 — Joe Young (Carson Arco)
SP — 55:00 — Nic Miscewicz
Stillwater 3, Cedarburg
At Cedarburg, Nick Purdie and Carson Arco each provided a first-half goal to propel the Ponies to a 4-0 victory over Cedarburg in the first game of the weekend quadrangular on Friday, Sept. 6.
Purdie scored in the 25th minute and it took just two minutes for Arco to extend Stillwater’s lead to 2-0 on an assist from Joe Young.
“We were opportunistic, certainly, but that’s part of our game,” Ponies coach Jake Smothers said. “They play such a different style. They really want to move the ball on the ground and possess so when you play them you get a lot of passing.”
Stillwater remained in control and Purdie struck againt 10 minutes into the second half to build a 3-0 advantage.
“Once we got up 2-0, what surprised me was how easily we killed off the rest of the game,” Smothers said. “They had one shot on goal between the second and third goal and we weren’t getting pressed.”
Stillwater 2 1 — 3
Cedarburg 0 0 — 0
St — 25:00 — Nick Purdie
St — 27:00 — Carson Arco (Joe Young)
St — 53:00 — Purdie (free kick)