Detroit Lakes notches two goals in each half in 4-0 win.

    The Pirate boys’ soccer team opened its 2019 campaign Thursday at home and were shut out by the Detroit Lakes Lakers, 4-0. It was also the first game for new head coach, Lon Boike, who takes over for the retired Don Cox.

    The Lakers notched their first goal around five minutes into the game and added another one later in the half. They scored two quick ones early in the second half, which Boike said seemed to deflate the Pirates some.

    “I think if we could have gotten a goal early in the second half, that makes it 2-1 and that changes the complexion of the whole game,” he said. “But they got two quick ones and that kind of set the tone.”

    It was the first game in net for junior Kaleb Thingelstad, who made 13 saves. Boike said he liked what he saw from him. “I think he did really good and made some really nice saves,” he said. “He’s an athletic kid.”

    The Pirates were able to generate some offensive pressure at times, and put seven shots on the Laker net. Junior Noah Kiel was responsible for much of the Pirates’ pressure in the Detroit Lakes’ zone, but at times, once the Lakers were able to clear their zone, the Pirates were a bit gassed from expending so much energy trying to maintain extended offensive pressure.

    “Game shape…yes, that’s probably a good point,” Boike said. “We’ve practiced and we’ve had conditioning, but it’s the first game and I don’t know that we’re totally in game shape yet. We’ll look to improve on that.”

    Boike said the Pirates played shorthanded Thursday, with “three or four” players out of action due to injury or personal reasons. “They’re potential starters, and without them at times we were playing eighth-graders and ninth-graders,” the coach noted.

    A priority in practice moving forward will be working on perimeter passing and short passing up the middle of the field, Boike said. Too often on Thursday, he said, the Pirates settled for kicking the ball as far as they could up the field and then racing Lakers players to it.

    “We had some nice runs offensively at their goal, but we can’t just rely on kicking it up the middle,” Boike said. “There’s a time and place to do that, but not every time.”

    The Pirate junior varsity team lost 7-0.

    The Pirates are back in action at home on Saturday, Aug. 24 against Fergus Falls. Varsity plays at 11 a.m. followed by JV at 12:30 p.m.