Noah Kiel found the back of the net twice in the loss.

    The Pirates displayed their best offensive performance of the season, but could not overcome a 5-0 deficit set by Fergus Falls Hillcrest and Crookston dropped to 0-4.

    By the time the match reached the halfway point, Fergus Falls held a 4-0 lead. The lead moved to 5-0 less than two minutes into the second half. Casey Tiedemann (Sr. GK/D) and Ben Andringa (Jr. GK/MF) shared time in the net. Tiedemann stopped five shots in the first half and Andringa blocked seven during half number two.

    Head Coach Don Cox kept his comments brief regarding the offense of Fergus Falls.

    “It’s Hillcrest,” Cox said. “They are always prolific with goals. They use their quick forwards effectively.”

    Thirty seconds after the fifth goal, Jacob Brunelle (Jr. MF) put the Pirates on the board assisted by Eric Delorme (Sr. MF).

    Fergus Falls kept the pressure on Crookston scoring goal number six in minute 46. Noah Kiel (So. F) ignited the offense with back-to-back goals two minutes apart to make the score 6-3. Ben Andringa earned the assist for Kiel’s first goal and Delorme tallied his third assist of the season on Kiel’s second goal.

    “Halftime talk,” Cox said on what led to the team’s changed approach. “The team has to talk one at a time so they can listen to each other. No discussion, just observations and listening. Then I get my turn. We improved our communication and our passing which allowed us to pressure their defense more which disrupted their rhythm enough to slow down their attacks and allowed us to put together some of our own.”

    With under 25 minutes to play, Fergus Falls found the back of the net to gain a four-goal advantage and a 7-3 lead. Fergus Falls also managed to slow down the Pirates’ offense and preserve their lead for 20 minutes.

    Sam Overgaard (Sr. MF), assisted by Kiel, recorded the team’s fourth goal of the half with 3:29 left, but the Pirates ran out of time and lost 7-4.

    Crookston did not get rewarded for their offensive improvement, but Cox wants to focus on what went well and expand on the positives.

    “The rule of thumb is to take the good they do and improve on it,” Cox said. “Learn from the mistakes and don’t repeat them. So they will work to build on the positives of communication, passes, support, clearing from the back, checking to the ball for both offense and defense play and mixing the shots from a variety of angles and distances.”

    Not much time exists to dwell as Crookston quickly returns to the pitch on Saturday, September 8 to play Walker-Hackensack-Akeley. The match starts in Walker at 12 p.m.

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For feedback or questions, contact the Times at (218) 281-2730, Nolan Beilstein at (940) 372-8175 or by email at nbeilstein@crookstontimes.com