By Mark Wiseman
Pioneer Men’s Varsity Lacrosse traveled to Plymouth to take on the Wildcats this past Saturday afternoon. Both Pioneer and Plymouth are in the MHSAA Region 3-1 and met last year in the playoffs, with Plymouth winning that match 8-7. In the most recent contest Plymouth’s excellent ball movement propelled their offense, as they had assists on nine of their eleven goals. Conversely, Plymouth’s defense clogged the passing lanes, forcing the Pioneer attack to have to create offense individually, with each of their five goals coming unassisted. Plymouth came away with an 11-5 victory.
The first quarter started with their only two unassisted goals. The first was by Junior Ian Gozdor, the second by Freshman David Brace. Gozdor scored his second of the game when he took a pass from Senior Walter Twinney and riffed in a goal. For the first time all year Pioneer was held without a shot in a period, and only had two possessions in the quarter. The first quarter ended Pioneer 0 and Plymouth 3.
Plymouth continued their goal run in the second when Twinney found Sophomore Brendan Allen for the score. It was the first of Allen’s game high four scores for the afternoon. Then Allen returned the favor by flicking the ball to Sophomore Gavin Roach who found the back of the net. A little over halfway through the second quarter, Pioneer found itself down five to nothing. Senior Jack Reid kicked the Pioneer offense into motion, scoring a pair of goals. On his second goal Reid used a screen from Junior Brennan Doyle to buy some room and shake the defense. He then worked his way to eight yards in front of the cage and fired a shot home with just 1:04 until half time. At the end of the second quarter it was Pioneer 2 and Plymouth 5.
Reid scored again six minutes into the third quarter and Pioneer looked to be coming back, having cut the Plymouth lead to only two, but that was the closest they could get. Allen stopped the Pioneer goal run when he took a feed from Twinney and flung it into the cage. Then Gavin Roach got his second goal of the game off a pass from Brace. The third quarter ended Pioneer 3 and Plymouth 7.
Gozdor started the scoring in the fourth quarter with his third goal, this one set up by a pass from Junior Carson Miller. Doyle cut into the lead when he scored on a low angle shot for the far side. But Plymouth answered back fifty-nine seconds later when Sophomore Ethan Rottell fed Miller, who was cutting towards the crease. Doyle tried to start the comeback once more, as he scored with 8:49 left in the game, but it would be Pioneers’ last goal. Plymouth ended the scoring with two very similar goals. Both times Rottell found Allen out front of the crease for short range blasts. The final was Pioneer 5 and Plymouth 11.
Pioneer found themselves behind in nearly every category as Plymouth led the shots on goal 37 to 19. The faceoffs were tied at half, but Plymouth pulled away in the second half, ending the game with 13 faceoffs to Pioneer’s 9. The groundball battle was the closest, but Plymouth still came out on top, 24 to 23.
Pioneer Goals: Jack Reid – 3, Brennan Doyle – 2
Pioneer Assists: N/A
Plymouth Goals: Brendan Allen – 4, Ian Gozdor – 3, Gavin Roach – 2, David Brace – 1, Carson Miller – 1
Plymouth Assists: Walter Twinney – 3, Ethan Rottell – 3, David Brace – 1, Brendan Allen – 1, Brendan Miller –1
Pioneer’s next game is Monday, May 5th at 5:30. The game will be at Huron High School, 2727 Fuller Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105. The game will be in the front field, not in River Bank Stadium. It will also be a double header, as the Pioneer Women’s Varsity Lacrosse team takes on Huron at 7:00pm.
– by Mark Wiseman, the play-by-play voice of Pioneer Men’s Varsity Lacrosse. Both live and past games can be found at www.ArborBroadcasting.com