In a state Regional quarterfinal thriller at Hollway Field, the Pioneer girls’ lacrosse team pulled off a 14-13 win over the Brighton Bulldogs Wednesday to advance to the Regional semifinals.
Pioneer will play on Wednesday, May 31 against the winner of the Saline-Plymouth quarterfinal.
The teams played an intense game amidst weather that was rainy and breezy. Pioneer scored the first goal, but Brighton answered and took the lead, 2-1. Brighton stretched the lead to four goals in the first half and threatened to break the game open before Pioneer began chipping away at the lead.
Pioneer eventually closed the gap to 8-7, only to have Brighton run the lead back to 11-7.
Pioneer kept working, however, and scored the next three goals to close the gap to 11-10. Brighton broke Pioneer’s momentum when it added a goal to make it 12-10 late in the second half.
Pioneer responded with the next three goals to take the lead, 13-12, with just a few minutes remaining. It was the first time that Pioneer had led in the game since it had opened the scoring.
Brighton wasn’t finished, though, and responded with a goal to tie it at 13. With about a half a minute remaining in the game, Pioneer scored the game winner to make the final score, 14-13. Pioneer then won the last draw and ran out the clock.
Pioneer had a balanced scoring attack with seven players contributing. Pioneer turned the ball over 16 times during the game while only forcing four turnovers for the Bulldogs.
The most disappointing aspect of the game for Pioneer were that 10 of their 16 turnovers were unforced. Pioneer was able to make up for the turnover deficiency with their tenacity on the draws.
Pioneer continued its season-long improvement on the circle by winning 17 of the 29 draws (60 percent).
“This was the first game this season where we won more than 50 percent of the draws,” said Coach Zachary Maghes.
Story by Woody Wagons