The Crookston Pirate Girl’s Soccer team earned the two seed in their 8A Subsection and that allowed them to host the quarterfinal matchup with Fergus Falls Hillcrest. The Pirates used that home-field advantage, great defense, and a timely goal to beat the Comets 1-0 at the Crookston High School soccer fields. “It’s an exciting day for Pirates soccer,” exclaimed Pirate Head Coach Sarah Reese. We worked hard together today and it’s an exciting win.”

In cold, windy, and soggy field conditions, each offense did not have much going on throughout the game, the first 12 minutes of the game did not see either side get off a shot. Then the Comets got a shot from about 30 yards out, but it was way over the goal. The Pirates got their first shot of the half a few minutes later but it was way wide of the goal. Over the first 30 minutes, the ball stuck around the middle-third of the field and there were a lot of balls sent out of bounds for throw-ins. “Because it was so cold and windy it felt like both teams were a bit off… maybe a step early or a step late,” explained Coach Reese. “No games are going to be a perfect 80 minutes.” Finally, the Pirates offense started to make some progress. They still were not creating shots but they were putting pressure on the Comets defense. Then, with just over four minutes remaining in the half, a ball trickled over to Cassie Solheim at the top of the box. She turned, and ripped a shot with her left foot off the hands of the goalie, Hannah Radzwill, and into the upper right corner to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead. “I was saying under my breath the whole half ‘shoot the ball, shoot the ball,'” explained Coach Reese. “I remember saying that right before Cassie took the shot so that was awesome.” A few minutes later Crookston had another golden opportunity when a crossed ball went through a few players and Amelia Overgaard took a shot as Radzwill slid for the ball. The ball slowly rolled to the goal line, but a Comets defender got to it at the last second to prevent the goal. “We had spurts of good offense today,” said Coach Reese. “I thought we ended the first half in a great way with some great intensity.” In turn, the Pirates held a 1-0 lead after 40 minutes.
The second half was not much different than the first with neither team gaining much momentum on the offensive side. Reese Swanson made her only save on the game early on in the second half. The Pirates defense made sure she did not have much to deal with in the game, again playing tremendously. “Aleah Bienek, Olivia Huck, and Dillynn and Jojo Wallace have been so solid back there and have great communication,” said Coach Reese. “They play off of each other, they play off each other well, and they all take their offensive opportunities.” The Pirates did control the ball for the majority of the half with the ball frequently on their offensive half, but it resulted in just two shots on goal, both of which were saved. The Pirates hung on in the final minutes of the game to win 1-0 and advance to the Section 8A semi-finals on Saturday. “It doesn’t matter how you get the win, it just matters that you got it,” added Coach Reese. “You just have to figure out how to win and we did that so I am pretty proud of the girls.”

On Saturday, the Pirates will travel to Fergus Falls to take on the Otters who advanced to the semi-finals by beating Pelican Rapids 10-0. The winner on Saturday will advance to the Section 8A Championship on Tuesday at Sauk Centre.

1st 2nd Final
Fergus Falls Hillcrest 0 0 0


36:00 – Crox – Cassie Solheim


SAVES 1 2 Final
Reese Swanson- CROX 0 1 1
Hannah Radzwill- FFHA 0 2 2