Coach Boike says third goal was especially pivotal.

The Pirate boys’ soccer team on a cool, damp, windy Thursday afternoon hosted Fergus Falls Hillcrest, and the visitors came away with a 5-0. Hillcrest put two goals past Crookston junior net-minder Kaleb Thingelstad in the first half and three more in the second half.

The Pirates were down early, when Hillcrest scored less than a minute into the contest. They added their second goal with under 10 minutes left in the half when defender Isaiah Barlow, a senior, tried to help Thingelstad but, despite sprinting to the goal line, was unable to redirect the ball before a Hillcrest shot trickled past the line.

Head Coach Lon Boike said the Pirates played a solid first half of soccer. He called the first goal unfortunate due to the Pirates not being able to clear their zone. The second goal, Boike said, was more flukey in nature.

“We had a couple really good looks at the goal and the Hillcrest goaltender made a couple of nice plays on them,” Boike noted. “It could have very easily been 2-2 at halftime.”

In the game, Thingelstad made 16 saves. Hillcrest goaltender Zajen McArton stopped four shots.

Hillcrest scored in the opening seconds of the second stanza, and Boike said it looked like that took some wind out of the Pirates’ sails. The third goal “hurt us the most,” he added.

“Down 2-0, if we could have gotten that first goal and cut into the lead it would have helped,” he continued. “I think we got down a bit after their third goal and didn’t play with the same energy.”

The 0-4 Pirates are in action next on Sept. 10 when they host Pelican Rapids.

Practice between now and then will focus on a bit of everything, Boike said, including “shoring up the defense” and trying to ramp up goal-scoring efforts and improving passing plays.

“We are improving and we just need to continue to do that on the field,” he said.