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Stillwater boys soccer keeping up with a winning tradition

The Ponies are 13-0 with three regular-season games left.

STILLWATER, Minn. — The Stillwater High School boys soccer team is ranked 12th in the nation and first in the state, but the tradition of winning started a long time ago.

"I've been the head coach for 10 years," said Ponies head coach Jake Smothers. "We've been to the state tournament five times in those 10 years. We've won two state championships. My predecessor, Phil Johnson, was the head coach here for almost 30 years, I think almost 20 state tournament appearances, two state championships."

The Ponies are currently 13-0 in the regular season with three games left.

"This year, we were very confident about our groups," said Smothers. "We put together a very difficult early season schedule, and came out doing pretty well."

Liam Moreira is in his first and final season with the Ponies, but Smothers' expectation is clear.

"He hates losing, so it definitely motivates everyone on the team to play their best and leave it all out on the field," said Moreira.

Half of the team are seniors and left back, Sebastian Arco, thinks that could be a key to their success.

"It's been super cool to see the development over the years and now with this year, everyone being older, being able to be so successful has been super fun to watch," said Arco.

Smothers says the regular season is more like the preseason. The team treats the postseason as the regular season, when the wins matter most.

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