Soccer: Pioneer’s 2-0 win over Saline more proof they are one of the area’s elite teams

It could just be the best soccer District in the state.

Dexter will host a district starting next week featuring defending-state champion Skyline, powerhouse Saline, up and coming Huron and of course the Dreadnaughts, who entered this week without a loss.

It’s an incredibly talented field and we haven’t even mentioned perhaps the best team of all, Pioneer. They may not like being called the favorites but they have proven that they are more than in the conversation when it comes to the best soccer team in the area.

The Pioneers again proved just how good they are with an impressive and oftentimes dominating 2-0 win over visiting Saline on Senior Night last Thursday. The Hornets won the first match 1-0 but this was all purple and white on a very special night for Pioneer.

“It was Senior Night, a very emotional night and we came out flying,” said Pioneer Coach Jon Sundermann. “We really played well, especially in the first 20 minutes. It was the best we have played all season and we just continue to get better and gain confidence.”

Senior OJ Frometas-Canales, who has been injured all year and has not been cleared to play, started for the Pioneers on Senior Night.

“We put him in goal and told the Saline coaches and players and they were nice enough to just kick the ball out of bounds after a few seconds,” Sundermann said. “It was important to him to play and it was important for us to have him out there on Senior Night. We were able to start all the seniors. It was a very emotional moment for everyone.”

That emotion from the opening kick certainly carried over from the Pioneer’s heart to their feet.

And the Pioneers struck quickly.

Another senior Caleb Shoup, who usually plays keeper for the Pioneers, started at forward and headed home the Pioneers’ first goal of the game.
A few minutes later, they doubled their lead when Jhustin Mitchenor headed home another Pioneer goal to make it 2-0.

“Saline is a very dangerous team and it was a little more even in the second half but we were able to keep them off the scoreboard,” Sundermann said.

Alex Szumko played goal in the first half and Shoup played in net in the second half as the two combined for the shutout. The 2-0 win gives Pioneer an impressive 10-1-3 overall record (the only loss was to Saline and the ties came against Pinckney, Dexter and Skyline).

“This is a great group of kids who feel like they have something to prove,” Sundermann said. “That’s going to be one exciting District. With five teams capable of winning it just shows how good soccer is in the Ann Arbor area.”

The Pioneers host one of those good teams on Wednesday when city rival Huron pays a visit to Pioneer. The Pioneers defeated the River Rats 2-1 in an exciting game earlier in the season at Huron.