One would think an early season game between relatively young soccer teams would be rough to watch as the teams work their way through the first few weeks of the season. One would be wrong.
Pioneer and Huron took the pitch on Tuesday with a little chill in the air but considering the time of year, very acceptable conditions. And the play also was very acceptable as both teams showed great skill, patience and determination.
Both teams also created good scoring chances and Huron capitalized on two of their chances while the Pioneers couldn’t finish in a 2-0 win for the visiting River Rats. The game simply came down to two plays where Huron finished and a couple chances missed by the Pioneers.
What was pleasantly surprising to see was the skill and style of play displayed by both teams. There were few long balls. Instead, the purple soccer ball was played along the turf in short passes as the teams moved the ball around the field. It was a possession first approach and great watch for soccer fans.
Huron has eight seniors and eight freshman/sophomores on the team. Coach Lee Hudson has a good mix of youth and experience and a solid goalie in freshman Dana Decan, who pitched the shutout.
The Pioneers have just two seniors on the roster along with three freshman and five sophomores.
Huron’s two goals came in a matter of 2 minutes in the first half.
With 15:46 left in the first half, Huron’s Minna Tremonti came in down the right side and scored to make it 1-0. With 14:12 left, Jessica Tai fired a shot from close range that made it 2-0.
With 10 minutes left in the first half, Pioneer’s Carlen Baker broke free down the middle but Decan came out of the net to thwart that chance. Baker, just a freshman, played a strong game up front for the Pioneers.
In the second half, Pioneer keeper Emma Bouquin made a diving save with 11:50 to play to keep the Pioneers in the game. Later in the second half, Pioneer’s Zoe Homyak made a great run down the middle but the shot rolled just past the post.