There should be no lack of goals when Stillwater hosts Minneapolis Washburn on Saturday. Both teams enter the week on an offensive sprint, which could give us a pyrotechnic collision when the two meet in our Top Game of the Week.
Stillwater, ranked No. 1 in the Class 2A coaches' poll from Sept. 2, has at least three goals in each game this season -- including six in a rout of No. 11-2A Eastview in the season opener -- behind the play of two seniors. Logan Huber leads the way in total goals (9), while forward Spencer Scott has shown the ability to break down defenses both for himself and others, notching six goals and eight assists in seven games.
The Ponies (6-0-1, 1-0) must keep their offense rolling this week, with games against Suburban East Conference rivals Cretin-Derham Hall and Roseville before their showdown with Washburn. The key to defeating the Millers and recording a signature victory, however, may come at the other end field, where senior goalie Rayce Johnson and the Ponies defense has been stout.
Stillwater has kept four clean score sheets, highlighted by their 6-0 victory over the Lightning on Aug. 23, but notching another shutout could prove difficult against the emerging firepower of No. 2-2A Washburn.
The Millers' offense started the season by tallying just two goals in each of their first two games (a 2-1 victory over No. 8-2A Edina and a 2-2 tie with No. 6-2A East Ridge). However, they exploded for seven and five goals in home blowouts of Eagan (7-1 on Sept. 4) and Minneapolis Southwest (5-1 on Sept. 6) last week. Washburn (3-0-1, 1-0) faces Minneapolis City foe South before meeting the top-ranked Ponies, which should give its offense time to prepare for what could be a goal-heavy Saturday.
Ty Benjaafar (5 goals, 2 assists) has been a driving force in Washburn's recent offensive output, recording four goals and both assists in the last two victories, while in those same contests, midfielder Jameson Charles (2 G, 4A) showed his ability to unlock defenses by recording three assists, including two against the Lakers. If both player continue pushing the Millers offense on its blistering run of form, Washburn will have an excellent opportunity to pull of the upset and ascend further up the rankings.