"We played a 9-on-9 formation with Walker because they could only bring nine players to the match and we did not want a win by forfeit," explained coach Cox.
The Pirate boys' soccer team earned its second victory of the season Saturday by beating Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 2-0 in Walker, Minn. thanks to a trio of sophomores.
Sophomore Ian Johnson put the Pirates on the board at the 74:30 mark on an assist from sophomore Parker Nicholls. Then, two minutes later sophomore Guthrie Dingmann scored on an assist from Nicholls again.
"We played a 9-on-9 formation with Walker because they could only bring nine players to the match and we did not want a win by forfeit, so we played what we call even sides to help them out and give them a fair chance to win the match," Pirate head coach Don Cox said. "The formation was different from anything we've done before so the boys had to 'feel' their way around in order to develop the attack plan. Our defense was the same but without the support of two defensive mids, in spite of that our defenders kept them to 3 total shots on our net for the entire game."
Junior goalkeeper Michael Tate recorded three saves for the Pirates, while John Anderson had 11 saves in goal for Walker-H-A.
"On the offense we managed to get a total of 13 shots on them, but from a distance so their keeper had a lot of time to move into position," coach Cox noted. "It wasn't until the last five minutes of the game that we figured out how to get in close and finish our shots, once we got that logjam broken open we put two in the net within two minutes to win the match. The boys had to work hard for this one but they played a very strong game--we actually fired much more than 13 shots at them, we don't count the ones that go high or wide of the net, so we did manage to get creative and mount some serious attacks--two of which were fruitful for us. Playing a match like this on a very hot day, no breeze and a lot of field to cover with only eight players was a real test for our guys--one that they passed with exceptional character and determination."
The Pirates will compete in the West Fargo Tournament Friday and Saturday. On Friday, Crookston will face Fergus Falls, who the Pirates beat 2-0 to open the season. On Saturday, Crookston takes on Fargo Shanley and West Fargo.