In a game filled with physical play, the Pioneers men’s soccer team fought hard as they dominated the Ohio Christian University Trailblazers 5-1 Tuesday afternoon at Pioneer Soccer Field.
From the time the national anthem ended, the Pioneers were the team with the more aggressive mindset as they continually put pressure on the Trailblazers defense. Overall in the first period, the Pioneers outshot the Trailblazers on goal by a rather large margin of 11-1.
Then they jumped ahead early with a goal from freshman midfielder Kevin Aquino at around the 12:00 minute mark with a strong shot from the left side of the box. Then just seconds after scoring, Aquino was dealt a yellow card because of his excessive celebration by the left corner.
It was obvious that many of the Trailblazers were getting frustrated as the Pioneers continued to control the ball and pace of the game. At the 18:24 minute mark that frustration boiled over for one Trailblazer in particular, sophomore forward Dave Blamo, who got a red card ejection after deciding to take a cheap shot on sophomore defender Treg Lunger.
“Basically I was just applying pressure on his backside during a throw-in. He shook me off the first time and I applied a little more pressure, just enough to make him feel uncomfortable for the throw-in. Then he decided to raise his hand and hit me in the groin as hard as he could,” said Lunger on what Blamo did to him to get the red card.
It looked like the ejection might have given the Trailblazers team some life as they knotted up the score at one with a goal by junior forward Dexter Chapman at about the 28:00 minute mark. However, only over a minute later the Pioneers struck back with a goal of their own to give themselves another one shot advantage.
Right before half the Pioneers pushed their advantage to three to one off a goal by freshman midfielder Felipe Delgado.
In the second period the Trailblazers came out with a lot of grit and physicality as they tried to disrupt the Pioneers flow. For instance, at around the 50:00 minute mark Ohio Christian’s sophomore defensemen Tyler Shephard received a yellow card after barreling into Aquino.
“The physical play is the nature of the game,” said Pioneers head coach Chris Carmichael. “They came out too quickly and tried to disrupt our flow which is something we would try to do to a strong team as well.”
The Pioneers finished off the Trailblazers by scoring twice in the span of only 14 seconds. The first of those goals came off a breakaway turnover by Aquino who passed it back for the assist to senior midfielder Vinny Morais who tapped it in off the right crossbar for the goal.
“Me and him, we are Brazilians, so we can talk so much better,” said Morais. “I passed the ball [to] him and I was asking the whole the time ‘pass back, pass back.’ Then he just listened to me and he passed back by saying ‘have it, have it’ in Portuguese, and then I just put it in there. It was a blast!”
The win improved the Pioneers record to 2-3-0 while it dropped the Trailblazers record to 2-2-0.
Chris Sherwood Sports Editor and contributing writer for The Aviso.