Pioneers Tie Phantoms 2-2
W. Mass Tied for First Place
Massachusetts weather forecasters predicted thunder storms and even issued a tornado
watch on Friday night, but thankfully these conditions did not occur. The Pioneers, now unbeaten for seven games
and tied for first, hosted third place Seacoast United Phantoms in a critical
game at the end of the 2016 season in a rain soaked first half that ended in a
The action packed first half
started with two near Pioneers misses in the first ten minutes, with Alex
Hastings just going wide and Kyle Tomas’ shot ricocheting off the crossbar. But
the Phantoms would strike first with a rebound that could partially be due to the
wet slippery ball that the goalkeeper couldn’t hold onto. Western Mass defender Ben Lamb then scored a
nice header off of a Maxi Viera corner kick in the 23’, and about ten minutes
after that Seacoast scored to go up 2-1 into the half.
The rain stopped at the start
of the second half. Looking up, fans could see that Lusitano Stadium was right
on the line of dark storm clouds and sunshine.
The Pioneers attacked the Phantoms’ defense, drawing a penalty in the 63’
which was successfully converted by a calm Carlos Ruiz. The last twenty minutes of the game saw
Seacoast attack incessantly, with Western Mass packing the box with defenders
and trying their best to hold onto the tie.
The Phantoms had some chances to go ahead, but the Pioneers held out to
gain a point on a 2-2 tie.
“I’m happy with the tie
tonight” commented head coach Federico Molinari. “The Phantoms always battle and we got a
point. But now our game Friday versus Westchester is a must win. They are a hungry team and will do anything
to win. We have to keep our foot on the
gas and give our fans a victory.”
The Pioneers play their next
two games at home, starting with the Westchester Flames on Friday, July 8, 7:30
PM. It is Big Y Night, and Pioneers Free
Poster Night, where fans can take home a poster of the 2016 team.