Pioneers knock Polars with single score

Hill-Murray junior midfielder Ella French (10) and North High senior defender Hannah Pedersen (14) tangle over the ball in first half action. The Pioneers won 4-0 at home Sept. 10. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
Hill-Murray junior midfielder Ella French (10) and North High senior defender Hannah Pedersen (14) tangle over the ball in first half action. The Pioneers won 4-0 at home Sept. 10. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

On a penalty kick, the North High Polars were thwarted by Hill-Murray goalie Emma Sloot, whose diving save prevented the ball from going into the net just 6:47 into the girls soccer contest Sept. 10 at Hill-Murray.

It turned out to be Polars' best scoring opportunity of the game. From that point on, the Hill-Murray defense kept North at bay and ended up on top end of a 1-0 score.

In a post-game interview, Hill-Murray coach Simbo N'Diaye said, "We know we have a good, strong defense. But it has taken us a while to get on track, and once we did it turned out OK.

"It definitely was a really good game for us. The girls are working hard together.

"Now we are 1-0-3. We just have to keep working hard and see what happens."

From the North perspective, North head coach Katie Oelkerk said, "I thought we played hard for the whole game. It is too bad that it turned out the way it did and not the way we wanted it, but that's the way it goes sometimes.

 "It was too bad we didn't score on that first-half penalty kick. But Hill-Murray played good defense and kept us off the board. We'll work hard and see what happens down the road."

The first half - thanks to the super save by Sloot - ended scoreless.

Then in the second half of action and past midway through, the Pioneers' junior forward Kiley Knutson broke free with the ball. She fired a long shot that found its way through a diving North goalie Holly Jeske to the back twines inside the left corner for a 1-0 Hill-Murray score 62:10 into the game.

From there the Hill-Murray defensive players took over as they collapsed in front of Sloot and kept the Polars from getting in close to the net.

The Pioneers are now 1-0 in the Metro East Conference and overall 1-0-3, while the loss dropped North's overall record to 2-3, and 0-1 in MEC action.

Wally Wakefield can be reached at wwakefield@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7826.

 

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