Both Pioneer soccer teams have pushed through discouraging game results in an effort to reach long-term goals. Their efforts go far beyond the score at the conclusion of a game. Players are awaiting the fruits of their labors as the season progresses.
“I’m very encouraged by the effort, chemistry and pieces we are seeing on the field with this group of guys,” said men’s coach Ben Stock. “I’m looking forward to seeing them play hard in the next couple of games.”
“The test for us is to be able to turn the close games into results,” Stock said.
Stock is looking to his 17 returning players to lead the way on and off the field. The valuable experience they bring to the game can spread confidence among the younger team members.
The women’s team is also anticipating a big season with 13 veterans on the roster.
Women’s coach Josh Jones said the depth they provide is the most significant difference from last season. The larger team allows more breaks for the players, especially during the final ten minutes of the game.
Prominent returners include junior forwards Brianna Smith and Christine Najjar along with junior midfielder Corrin Hayberg. They bring the experience and talent needed to get the job done on the field.
The team has clear goals in mind, and each game is a set toward reaching them.
“Our main goal is to get into the conference tournament and place in the top eight,” Jones said.
Pioneer soccer is looking prepared physically and mentally for the entire season. Both teams have set high goals and exhibit talent, depth and passion that may earn them a place in the conference tournament.
Collin Schmid is a staff writer for The Aviso.