Let’s face fact. The Skyline boys’ soccer team has been the team to beat in the area for the past several years. They are the team by which all other are measured.
So the Pioneers have to be pretty pleased with how they measured up on Thursday night. While the host Eagles did have a few more scoring opportunities, the Pioneers played the SEC defending champions to a scoreless draw.
While it wasn’t a victory, the tie should build some well-deserved confidence for the Pioneers.
Jon Sundermann is in his first year as coach of the Pioneer soccer team and there will be some learning and adjusting and getting to know you for both players and coach. So far, Sundermann has liked what he has seen from his club.
“It was a real learning experience for our players as far as matching their intensity,” said Sundermann after Thursday night’s game. “Skyline is a very good team that has had a lot of success over the past few years. They know how to win.”
Sundermann has been a successful coach for 25 years in Ann Arbor, first for the Ann Arbor Arsenal, then for the past 10 seasons for the Michigan Tigers. So he knows what he’s talking about and knows when he sees positive signs – and he didn’t have to look far Thursday night.
“I thought our back line played very well,” he said. “We also had some opportunity to get forward. I was really happy with what I saw considering it’s our first time out in this intense of a game.”
The Pioneers dropped their first two games of the season before Thursday’s draw. One of the stars of Thursday’s game was certainly Pioneer goalie Ojanis Frometas, who made several big saves throughout the game including two in the final 3 minutes to keep the Eagles off the board.
“Ojanis is very, very athletic and he’s learning on the job,” Sundermann says. “He made some clutch saves for us for sure.”
Creating a winning team and a successful program is a process. And the Pioneers appear to be on the right path out of the gate this season.
“I think we are really coming together as a team,” Sundermann said. “We are figuring out rotations and what everyone’s role is on the team. Sometimes that might be being a really good practice player at this point and help the guys who play prepare for the game. And that’s very important.”
Pioneer plays Tuesday against Bedford.