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Pirate defensive breakdowns lead to 6-0 loss to Detroit Lakes

Jacob Shames
Crookston Times
Thor Harbott battles a Detroit Lakes midfielder for possession in Crookston's 6-0 loss to the Lakers on Tuesday.

For about 90 percent of the game Tuesday, Crookston boys' soccer coach Lon Boike thought his team played very well.

It wasn't just him. The Pirates held Detroit Lakes — a team which had hung nine goals on them two weeks earlier — to multiple half-hour scoreless stretches, and were only outshot 5-3 in the first half.

But when the Lakers got going, they really got going. They scored three times in a nine-minute span between the end of the first half and beginning of the second, and put in two more quick goals late to finish off Crookston, 6-0.

"We just made some unfortunate timing mistakes defensively, and that hurt us," Boike said. "We got a few shots on goal, and I didn't think our defense was terrible. It's just ... Detroit Lakes is a good team and they took advantage of some things."

On Tuesday, the Pirates (1-5) were coming off a relatively long break in the schedule, their last game being a 10-0 loss at Pelican Rapids on Sept. 15. During the week off, Boike said the team worked extensively on the offensive end — particularly shooting, passing and trapping.

"Using our body, our legs, our feet, so balls weren't getting away from us when we were passing, for the most part I thought we got better at that," he said. "We spent a fair amount of time just working on give-and-gos in practice and shooting and getting more shots on goal."

But it was defensive mistakes that cost Crookston against Detroit Lakes (5-2). The Pirates were hopeful to go into halftime down only one goal, but in the 34th minute, a Laker shot took a tricky bounce and skipped through goalkeeper's Kaleb Thingelstad's hands into the net. The Lakers scored in the 39th minute and 43rd minutes as well.

Boike thought further letdowns were triggered by Detroit Lakes attacks down the wing. Specifically, the Pirates' outside midfielders didn't get back on defense on a few too many occasions, and the Lakers used their superior speed to create chances.

"In the second half we tried to keep them back a little bit more so they could get back in time," Boike said. " ... They were a little bit quicker than us, and they would beat us down the sideline sometimes. We just have to realize, if I'm not quick enough to get back and cover that guy, I gotta stay back a little bit further and try to neutralize that."

That helped Crookston keep Detroit Lakes scoreless for much of the second half. During that time, Boike was impressed with the play of the Pirates' younger players — Nathan Kelly and Ashton Shockman among them.

"We have some pretty good young kids coming up and we wanna get them some varsity experience as well, so they know what to expect next year coming back," Boike said. "We lose seven seniors next year so we got spots to fill, and some of those guys are gonna have to step in."

But Detroit Lakes broke through twice more, scoring in the 66th minute and making it 6-0 three minutes afterwards.

Boike generally is able to take away at least some positive signs from losses, and Tuesday was no exception. But he also recognizes that for Crookston, keeping a team like Detroit Lakes in check for 90 percent of the game isn't quite good enough.

"We're gonna keep working on our defense," Boike said. "We gotta keep talking about some of those things and walk it through on the field and hopefully it won't happen again. Just keep working on fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals, and it will pay off for us."

UP NEXT: Crookston returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 26 at noon to take on Fargo North at home. The matchup between the Pirates and the Spartans (3-9) will be the first-ever game between the two schools.

SCORING

  • 12:40: Lucas Schwan (Detroit Lakes)
  • 33:05: Lucas Schwan (Detroit Lakes)
  • 38:36: Detroit Lakes
  • 42:00: Detroit Lakes
  • 65:00: Detroit Lakes
  • 68:43: Detroit Lakes

GOALKEEPING

  • Crookston: Kaleb Thingelstad 10 saves (5 first half, 5 second), Caden Boike 1 save (1 second half)
  • Detroit Lakes: Braeden Wimmer 3 saves (3 first half, 0 second)

The Times welcomes your feedback. You can send any comments or questions to our office at (218) 281-2730, Jacob Shames (405) 496-0168 or by email at jshames@crookstontimes.com.

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