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Class 2A boys: Stillwater shuts out Apple Valley to reach semifinals

By JOE GUNTHER, Star Tribune, 10/25/17, 7:15PM CDT


Second-half goals by Spencer Scott and Max Stauffer provided the 2-0 margin of victory.

Stillwater players celebrated a goal by Spencer Scott (21), with white headband, during the second half. Photo: Leila Navidi * leila.navidi@startribune.com

Stillwater’s Spencer Scott broke a scoreless tie with a goal with 10:05 left to help give the No. 2-seeded Ponies  a 2-0 victory over Apple Valley in the Class 2A soccer quarterfinals Wednesday at Chisago Lakes.

Stillwater had several chances to score throughout the game, especially in the second half but were thwarted by goalkeeper Parker Jamison and the Eagles defense until Scott’s goal.

“It’s kind of indicative of our season as a whole,” Ponies coach Jake Smothers said. “It is something these guys are getting used to. The late goal becomes stressful. The 0-0 tie becomes stressful, but the way they’re playing  … We had a ton of confidence we were going to get one before Apple Valley.”

Scott finally broke through with a header off a corner kick from Nicholas Purdie, popping the ball over a crowd at the goal line.

The Ponies extended the lead with 1:25 left. Scott passed the ball to Max Stauffer at the far side of the net. Stauffer was able to slide the ball under Jamison.

Ponies goalkeeper Fred LeClair was not tested much, but stopped nine shots.

"That’s what he does well,” Smothers said. “He will make some big saves along the way, but his biggest asset is his intelligence and his voice. He doesn’t have to make a lot of saves because he is telling our defensive players what to do. His biggest asset is organizing that back four so he doesn’t have to catch the ball if he doesn’t want to.”

The Ponies had a goal disallowed in the first half on a foul. The Eagles goalkeeper was run into, allowing the ball to bounce past him and into the net.

“I think it was early enough in the game that they were able to shake it off and keep playing,” Smothers said. “If it was later in the game when the tensions start rise it would have been a different story.”


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