The Pirate boys’ soccer team lost 4-0 on the road in Fergus Falls Tuesday to Hillcrest Lutheran Academy, but if there’s a bright side, it’s the fact that earlier this season they lost to Hillcrest by a margin of more than twice that much.

    Head Coach Lon Boike said the Pirates played two solid halves of soccer, with the “exception of a few mistakes.” Overall, he said, “I was pleased with our improvements and effort.”

    While he thought fatigue came into play late in the first half, Boike said the Pirates followed up with an even stronger second half.

    Junior goalkeeper Kaleb Thingelstad had 17 saves on the day, while two Hillcrest net-minders combined to stop a half-dozen Pirate shots on net.

    The Pirates are still seeking their first win of the season. Now 0-11, they host the Hibbing Bluejackets on Friday at 3:30 p.m. Hillcrest moves to 5-2-1 with Tuesday’s win.

    On another positive note, the Pirate junior varsity boys, which also hadn’t won yet this season, defeated Hillcrest 1-0 Tuesday.

    Boike has been concentrating a lot of defensive positioning and strategy in practice, and he said he saw some of the extra work pay off Tuesday. The boys knew where to be and were better at marking up, he said. In a position shift, he switched junior Noah Dragseth to defense.

    “He used to play defense and wanted to play more there in the second half,” Boike said. “He was a very stabilizing force there.”

    The Pirates had some solid scoring chances, Boike added, but just couldn’t finish. That will be another focal point on the practice field.