The Crookston Pirate Girl’s Soccer team played a solid first half, but a flurry of goals by East Grand Forks in the second half put the game away, as the Green Wave shut out the Pirates, 6-0, on Tuesday night at East Grand Forks High School.

After being held scoreless for the first 10 minutes, East Grand Forks got on the board at the 11:18 mark with a goal from senior middle Grace Kronlund. Less than 15 minutes later, the Green Wave added to the lead with another goal from junior forward Brooklyn Sayler. Despite being down 2-0 at halftime, Crookston head coach Sarah Reese was pleased with her teams’ effort through the first 40 minutes. “I thought we played a great first half,” Reese said. “A lot of the play was clearly the middle third of the field. We took away time and space. In the first half, we did a good job of making them work for their passes and their shots, and work for the ball. (East Grand Forks) controlled the game in the center of the field in the first half, because we weren’t winning balls in the air.”

Less than 10 minutes into the second half, East Grand Forks extended the lead when sophomore middle Kara Ellis found the goal at the 49:33 mark, putting the Green Wave ahead 3-0. Ellis scored another goal just over 15 minutes later off of a free kick inside the Crookston 18-yard box. The free kick came as a result of a red card infraction by Crookston junior Rylee Solheim. “She got that because the penalty was in the box and it was a goal-scoring opportunity,” Reese said. “The refs said Solheim wasn’t going for the ball and she went body-to-body. That’s just the interpretation from the referee. It is what it is.” After the red card, Solheim had to sit the rest of the game, and Crookston was forced to play with only 10 players for the final 13 minutes of the match. In addition, Solheim will be held out for the entire next game. East Grand Forks took advantage of Crookston’s defensive shortage, scoring two more goals within a three-minute span after the red card. East Grand Forks’ final two goals were scored by Brooklyn Sayler, who led her team with four goals scored. Offensively, Crookston only managed two shots-on-goal, both in the second half, but Reese was encouraged by her team’s hustle after halftime. “In the second half, we won more 50-50 balls and balls in the air, and we were creating more offensive opportunities for ourselves,” Reese said. “We were caught in a bit of a mental headspace with being in defensive mode, as opposed to transitioning from defense to offense. So, we definitely needed to capitalize on our offensive opportunities in the second half. Unfortunately, we just didn’t find the net. We can definitely play with this team, but we have to come in mentally prepared. If we’re not playing up to par or physical, they’re going to take advantage, and that’s what good teams do. We need to have the confidence that we’re just as good as they are, and play as a team and good things will happen.”

The Pirates fall to 2-4 on the season, while East Grand Forks is a perfect 4-0 on the season, having outscored their opponents, 24-0. The Pirates and Green Wave will meet again on Monday at 4 p.m. in Crookston. The game will be carried live on KROX, with coverage starting at 3:30.

1st 2nd Final
East Grand Forks 2 4 6

11:18 – East Grand Forks – Grace Kronlund
25:04 – East Grand Forks – Brooklyn Sayler
49:33 – East Grand Forks  – Kara Ellis
66:30 – East Grand Forks – Kara Ellis (free kick)
67:55 – East Grand Forks – Brooklyn Sayler
69:35 – East Grand Forks – Brooklyn Sayler

Saves 1st 2nd Total
Reese Swanson – Crox 7 7 14
Kadynn Melquist – EGF 0 2 2