The season is coming together for the Pioneer girls’ lacrosse team. On Wednesday night, Pioneer traveled to Saline and came away with an impressive 15-6 win over the Hornets.
Pioneer played a challenging schedule early in the season, but the lessons learned against the top competition are beginning to pay off.
Coach Zachary Maghes points to the games that Pioneer traveled to Grand Haven to play over this past weekend as a turning point in the season.
“The team really gelled when we played three games on Saturday and came away without a loss,” Maghes said. “The momentum from the weekend carried into tonight’s contest. It was the most complete game of the year that we’ve played.”
Pioneer set the tone early in the game as senior Reagan Malcolm scored the first goal of the game 34 seconds after the opening draw.
Throughout the evening, Pioneer peppered Saline with 34 shots and converted 15 onto the scoresheet. The scoring was led by four of the seniors on the team. Reagan Malcolm led all scorers with six goals. Celia Ayers didn’t miss a shot on the evening and tallied three goals. Karleigh Marable was very active on attack and added two. Quinn Moffet added another. Pioneer’s scoring was rounded out by freshman Tess Yuhas (1 goal / 1 assist), freshman Danielle Armstrong (1 goal), and sophomore Julia Hunter (1 goal). Ava Millman and Andie Tappenden added assists on the evening.
Another positive on the evening for Pioneer was the draw controls. Pioneer grabbed 15 of the 23 draws to take command of the possession game.
Coach Maghes shared that Pioneer’s record holder for draw controls, Clare Brush, came to practice on Tuesday and worked with the team on their draw technique. Clare, who graduated from Pioneer last year, now attends the University of Michigan where she plays field hockey. Clare spent considerable time working on the draws with freshman Tess Yuhas. The results were noticeable during the game as Tess led all players with five draw controls.
Pioneer’s transition game from defense to offense also showed improvement against Saline. Pioneer had a 71 percent success rate on clears and gave constant pressure to Saline during their efforts to get the ball out of the Hornets’ end of the field.
Another sign that the team is coming together was the energy on the bench.
Coach Maghes noted that the bench “had great positive energy throughout the evening.” The players on the field fed off of their teammates’ cheering and converted many hustle plays. Ground balls were obtained by almost everyone on the field and evenly distributed among the players.
After the strong showing against Saline, Pioneer hopes to maintain its momentum as it travels to Hartland on Thursday to try to go undefeated for their fifth straight road game.
Story by Woody Wagons