The celebration, as one would expect, was jubilant – but certainly not over the top.
The Pioneers had just knocked off and out Skyline in a District semifinal game on Wednesday at Dexter High School. And while they were excited to beat the defending state champs and city rivals, the Pioneers handled the celebration with the same amount of poise and class they showed over the 90 minutes of soccer.
Senior captain Ben Matton has been a great leader all season for the Pioneers and it showed in the District semifinal. He said it was a great feeling to “finally” beat Skyline.
“My entire high school career, this is what we’ve been trying to do,” said Matton, whose smile was brighter than the bank of lights behind him. “It kind of (stunk) that they have been able to beat us so much but to finally get revenge like this feels great.”
While Skyline did have chances and pushed a few wide or fired a few over the crossbar, Pioneer keeper Caleb Shoup played a solid game in net for the Pioneers.
And they needed the senior captain to be on the top of his game – and he certainly was especially after the first minutes.
“We started off a little slow and they had their chances in the first half,” Shoup said. “We had a good pep talk from our coach and that got us energized and we really came out to play in the second half.”
James Simon, another senior captain, said the Pioneers came in with a good game plan – it was just a matter of putting everything together.
“We knew that Skyline was going to try and play long balls over the top against our defense and press us hard,” he said. “They pretty much dictated what they wanted in the first half but we were able to stay calm. I thought in the second half we were able to dictate the game and had good combinations and played much better.”
This wasn’t a won and done for the Pioneers. There is more work to be done.
“We are going to reign in the celebration,” said Matton. “We will be ready and focused for Friday.”