It was clear early on that Thursday’s local clash between Pioneer and Huron on the soccer pitch was going to be decided by a single goal as the defenses were standing tall and the midfield was hosting much of the action between two solid teams.
The last time these two teams met was in a District Final, won by Pioneer in a shootout. The River Rats had a long time to think about that loss and finally got a chance to respond – which they did with a 1-0 win at Pioneer.
Senior captain Grace Tremonti fired a shot from about 25 yards out that Pioneer keeper Moira Dayton was able to get a hand on but couldn’t keep the ball from rolling into the net just inside the right post. Tremonti’s tally at 24:49 of the second half was the only goal of the game.
Huron keeper Isabella Binkley earned the shutout in the net.
“We played well, considering it was our first league game,” said Huron Coach Lee Hudson. “I thought we started strong but overall played much better in the second half.”
The River Rats came out at the start of the game and controlled the action and made some good runs on the Pioneer goal. But Dayton was solid in the net and got plenty of help from her defense and even the post helped keep the visitors off the board.
The Pioneers finally got things rolling and played much better in the last 15 minutes of the opening half.
“We started off strong and the first 20 minutes or so we looked really good,” Hudson said. “But we stopped doing what was working and they had us on the ropes toward the end of the first half.”
After Huron scored, both teams had a couple decent chances in the final 20 minutes. The Pioneers almost tied it in the final seconds when they had a corner kick, but the ball sailed right through the front of the goal and was eventually cleared by the River Rats.
Huron’s schedule doesn’t get any easier. They play at Skyline next Thursday followed by a game at Saline on April 25.