The Crookston Pirate Girl’s Soccer club played an offensive-dominant game finished off by a late goal to beat the Walker-Hackensack-Akeley Wolves in a Section 8A match up at the Crookston High School Soccer Fields on Senior Day by a final score of 1-0. “Our defense played great help defense today,” said Pirates Head Coach Sarah Reese.

Crookston held most of the possession throughout the game, close to 90%, but they could not quite punch the ball into the back of the net in the first half. “We did possess the ball most of the game and it was nice to see confidence in controlling the ball, especially when things aren’t going exactly as planned,” explained Coach Reese. They generated a handful of scoring opportunities but, the Wolves goalkeeper was up to the task in the first 40 minutes with four saves. The Pirates best opportunity came with 12 minutes remaining in the half when a shot from the upper right corner of the goalie box floated off the crossbar and back into play where another shot was deflected by a Wolves defender. Even with the ball in the Crookston’s side of the field often, the Wolves defense held strong and went into the half scoreless. “We were looking for the perfect shot instead of any shot,” added Coach Reese. “We want quality and quantity and we were focused on quality and forgot about quantity.”

The second half was more of the same for both sides. Crookston played solid team defense not allowing the Wolves offense inside the goal box in the second half. That allowed the offense to continue putting pressure on the opposing defense. The majority of the half was similar to the first 40 minutes with the Pirates opportunities not resulting in many shots, let alone shots on goal. “We have numerous folks who can put the ball in the net so we just have to take shots,” explained Coach Reese. When the Pirates did put shots on goal, Vinkemeier held strong for the first 27 minutes of the half making five more saves. Crookston finally was able to convert with a little over thirteen minutes remaining. Cassie Solheim took a pass 35 yards out, turned and made a move past the defender to give herself a 1-on-1 with the goalie. Solheim’s shot went off the outstretched arms of Vinkemeier and into the net to take a 1-0 lead. “Cassie is great on the run and she can beat almost anyone in a foot race,” said Coach Reese. “She is getting better each game at making the decisions that a forward has to make.” Crookston had a few more chances to score, including on numerous corner kicks off the right foot of Olivia Huck, but were unable to put them in, leaving the final score at 1-0. “We had 14 corner kicks that we weren’t able to put in and those are opportunities that we really have to capitalize on,” said Coach Reese. “Collectively we have to want to find the net.”

Crookston gets back to a .500 record on the season at 3-3. They will be back in action on Tuesday against the East Grand Forks Green Wave in East Grand Forks.
Walker-Hackensack-Akeley falls to 2-3 this season.

1st 2nd Final
Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 0 0 0

Scoring –
CROX- Cassie Solheim- 66:26

SAVES 1st 2nd Final
CROX- Reese Swanson 0 0 0
W-A-H- Brooke Vinkemeier 4 5 9