Nicholas Purdie of Stillwater tried to get position around Kwe Knyaw of St. Paul Center in the Class 2A semifinal Wednesday at U.S.Bank Stadium. Photo: Jerry Holt • Jerry.firstname.lastname@example.org
Spencer Scott had looked for this opportunity in the past. He’d even tried it once this season, but a referee didn’t allow it.
This time, however, the Stillwater attacker’s timing was perfect. Scott took advantage of an obscure rule that allows teams to take a free kick as soon as the ball is set and caught the St. Paul Central defense unaware. He drilled a low 20-yard shot into the far corner of the net, lifting the Ponies to a 2-1 victory over the Minutemen on Wednesday in the Class 2A boys’ soccer semifinal.
“All season, I look for that,” said Scott of his abrupt free kick goal. “If you don’t ask the ref for 10 yards, you can kick it right away, as soon as you set the ball.”
St. Paul Central coach David Albornoz admitted the shot took his team by surprise.
After an uneventful first half, Stillwater and St. Paul Central turned offensive in the second half, scoring three goals in a span of less than 8 minutes Wednesday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The last two of them were by the Ponies, who advanced to the Class 2A championship game on Friday by handing St. Paul Central its first loss of the season, 2-1.
After Mika Folstad scored in the 65th minute to give the Minutemen the lead, Stillwater's Gora Gora scored in the 71st minute to tied the score 1-1. Spencer Scott scored two minutes later off a free kick to give the Ponies (18-1-2) the victory.
Check back later for more on the game.