Pirates stonewalled by Stillwater in season opener
POLSON — The Pirates couldn’t light up their scoreboard in their season opener against Stillwater Tuesday evening.
Despite having the exact same shots on net as the Cougars and almost matching them shot for shot, the Pirates were handed a 2-0 loss to start the season.
“We created opportunities. The opportunities just didn’t fall in for us,” Polson coach Jess Kittle said. “Our touches seemed to be off today. It’s a little frustrating because I’ve seen these guys play better and they all know it. They all know it. We’re there. We’re right on the verge.”
Stillwater took the lead on a breakaway goal by Zane Kloeckl with just more than 10 minutes to play in the first half. The referees and side judge had to discuss if the Cougar striker was onsides before awarding him a goal.
Ryan Koch added an insurance goal in the 65th minute, when he floated a header on a corner kick just over the outstretched hand of Pirate keeper Clay Frissell.
The Pirates had plenty of chances. With two minutes left in the first half, Giorgio Traini headed a ricochet on a corner kick past the Stillwater goalkeeper, only to have a defender clear it away.
Sean Hart had a shot bounce off the goalpost in the 67th minute. Jon Huetmaker’s shot in the 72nd minute went off the side of the net.
Both the Cougars and Pirates finished with 11 shots on net. Stillwater had 23 total shots compared to the Pirates’ 21.
After the game, Kittle told his team that the most team’s improve in the season is between the first and second game. The Pirates will have a lot of time to improve. They are off until Sept. 10, when they travel to Belgrade.
“I guess if you had to lose, this is the kind of loss you would want to take. Because we do have a week and a half to carry through and make our improvements,” Kittle said.
“We’re definitely going to work on our passing game some more,” Kittle said, when asked what his team would try to improve. “We’re never satisfied with our passing game even if we have great passing, also our shooting. We’re going to work on our passing and shooting.”
Stillwater 2, Polson 0
Stillwater 1 1 –2
Polson 0 0 –0
S - Zane Kloeckl (Joshua Bray) 29:00
S - Ryan Koch (Bray) 65:00