Stillwater's Brooke Nelson (right) brings the ball up the field against Rosemount defender Samantha Moseng. Nelson's goal early in the game held up as the winner in Stillwater's 2-0 victory. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
Stillwater's lineup might be younger than in recent seasons, but that has not stopped it from playing like one of Class 3A's top teams through five games.
In a matchup between the state's top two ranked teams, the Ponies defeated No. 1-3A Rosemount 2-0 at home Tuesday.
Stillwater is the defending Class 3A state champion. But after graduating 11 seniors from the tournament run, the Ponies are working new players into the varsity squad.
A hard work mentality has helped the young Ponies (5-0-0) extend a season-long shutout streak through Tuesday's win.
Freshman goaltender Reese Elzen takes a goal kick after making save late in the game. Elzen's play helped the Ponies complete the shutout. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
A quick burst by Brooke Nelson and the Stillwater offense was enough to push the Ponies past Rosemount in a matchup of the top two teams in the Class 3A state polls.
Nelson found enough space to score just past the one minute into the first half, giving No. 2-3A Stillwater a lead that held up for the final 78 minutes in a 2-0 win. Rylee Lawrence also scored a second-half goal on a shot that deflected in off a defending player.
The No. 1-3A Rosemount offense put plenty of pressure on the Ponies, but Stillwater (5-0-0) goalkeeper Reese Elzen and the team’s back line players were disruptive enough to preserve the shutout.
Elzen made 11 saves in the shutout win. Rosemount (4-1-0) goalkeeper Jordan Hecht saved five shots in the loss.
Rosemount goalkeeper Jordan Hecht makes a save late in the second half. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine