Soccer: Skyline falls to Saline as District draw is set (see WLAA photo gallery)

Skyline hosted Saline on the pitch on Saturday and it was a typical hard-fought, intense, emotional and physical confrontation between two of the top boys’ soccer programs, not only in the area, but the state. In recent years, Pioneer has joined the elite two to form a tremendous threesome in the SEC Red Division.

And while division bragging rights are always important, it’s the state playoffs that carry a little more weight and this year’s District draw is going to be a heavy-weight fight until the end.

Last season, it was Pioneer that stood standing and moved on to Regionals. Skyline and Saline will certainly be in the mix to knock them off this season when regionals begin Oct. 14.


Before we get to Saturday’s game, let’s take a look ahead at the District draw, announced Sunday.

Pioneer will open with Lincoln while Skyline faces Ypsilanti in its opening-round game. Huron takes on Dexter and Saline will play Belleville in a first-round matchup. The second round could feature Skyline facing Huron (or Dexter) while Pioneer will most likely take on Saline.

If Saturday’s game between the Eagles and Hornets is an indication of things to come, well strap on a safety belt because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. These two teams were playing some high quality soccer and not giving an inch on the pitch.

Saline scored two goals in the second half to steal a 3-2 win over Skyline.

Peter Pecoits and Andreas Andrade (penalty kick) had first-half goals for the host Eagles.

“It was a tale of two halves; we won the first, lost the second,” said Skyline Coach Chris Morgan. “Not scoring at the end of the first half, when we had the opportunity, proved to be costly.”


Indeed, the Eagles had a golden opportunity just before halftime but the initial shot off the foot of Gabe Kellman – who made a great run – and the rebound by Paul Fontana somehow never made its way into the back of the net

“In the first half we did a nice job possessing the ball and working through the thirds,” Morgan said. “In the second half, we got away from what was successful, and we gave Saline far too many set pieces. They have a great long throw, and the corners are equally as dangerous. We have to get better at finishing our opportunities and marking in our defensive third.”

The Eagles host a big one on Tuesday when Pioneer rolls in for a huge SEC match starting at 7 p.m.