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East Ridge boys soccer: Raptors fall 1-0 to conference, section rival Stillwater

East Ridge senior defender Calvin Zachman tries to make a move past a group of Stillwater defenders Tuesday at East Ridge High School. The Ponies defeated the Raptors 1-0 to clinch the lead in the Suburban East Conference. (Bulletin photo by Nick Gerhardt)

The East Ridge boys soccer team had the No. 1 ranking in the state but Stillwater showed that the road to state still runs through the defending section champion Ponies last Tuesday with a 1-0 victory over the Raptors in Woodbury.

Stillwater got its goal in the first half from Jared Allan on a shot from just outside the circle of the 18-yard box with six minutes to play in the first half.

The goal marked the only goal of the game despite several scoring chances from both teams. East Ridge had chances early but failed to capitalize. With the game on the line in the second half the Raptors moved to a more direct attack but failed to convert and wound up with their first loss of the season.

Four starters nursed injuries for the Raptors and that had an effect, East Ridge head coach Anthony Bidwell said. Those starters only saw limited time on the field for East Ridge.

“We know what we have and we know when we have players that are healthy what we’re capable of doing,” Bidwell said. “It’s not a step back in any sense of the imagination.”

The Raptors (9-1-2, 4-1-2 SEC) got shut out for the second consecutive game in the loss.

The latest Minnesota State High School Soccer Coaches Association rankings have East Ridge now ranked sixth in Class AA. Stillwater is eighth. Blaine is alone at No. 1.

Following the loss, East Ridge went on to tie Mounds View Thursday 1-1 in Mounds View.

Calvin Zachman scored the lone goal for the Raptors and the Mustangs came back to tie the game.

East Ridge ended the week with its first win in three games Saturday with a 3-2 victory over Lakeville North in Lakeville.

—Nick Gerhardt