Men’s Soccer Kicks Off the Season with a Win

Shubham Sharma, Sports Editor

Pioneer Men’s soccer kicked off their new season with a match against University of California, Merced at the Pioneer Stadium on Aug. 25. Pioneers were coming from a poor last season and needed a positive start in order to balance the record books. The opposition was no pushover however, as UC Merced’s Bobcats did exceptionally well last season and managed to win a whopping 14 out of 19 games.
All eyes were on the Pioneers as they faced tough opposition, which meant winning would make for a strong statement to start off the season. Pioneer forward, Jacob Castro’s fantastic strike in the 17th minute of the game gave the Pioneers the lead. The assist was credited to Pioneer right-wing player, Michael Rossi.
Pioneers had organized defensive and attacking formations which allowed them to pressure the opposition into making mistakes. Pioneers looked like a different team and came with the intent to compete and win the game. Both team’s goalkeepers were busy throughout the first half and the Pioneers ended the game with 10 attempted shots on goal and UC Merced with 9 attempted shots on goal.
In the second half, the Bobcats made offensive changes and showed an effort to attack. Nevertheless, the defensive pairing of Raftery Landon & Didomenico Mateo proved too hard to break for UC Merced, leaving no room for Merced to score. Despite the intense effort, the final score remained 1-0, with a victory for the Pioneers. The team and the coaches seemed delighted with the performance and looked determined to carry the same momentum for the remainder of the season.