Pioneers play 0-0 draw with Dubuque

GK+Ian+Christensen+won+WIAC+Defensive+Player+of+the+Week.

Shelby Le Duc

GK Ian Christensen won WIAC Defensive Player of the Week.

played a highly physical match Sept. 11 against the University of Dubuque Spartans, ending in a 0-0 tie.
After two 45-minute periods and two 10-minute overtime periods, the game remained scoreless, tensions were high and players from both teams were getting very aggressive.
Ten yellow cards were given in the match, all of which were issued after the first half.
One of those yellow cards was assigned in overtime to Pioneer junior forward Mbodje Sarr after an exchange of words and a few shoves with a Spartan opponent.
“He was hacking me the whole game,” Sarr said. “The ref saw it but he wasn’t calling anything.”
Head coach Enzo Fuschino said he agreed that after the first half, when a Pioneer goal was called back because of a push-off, the refs allowed the men to play probably rougher than they should have.
“In the second half, they threw everything they had at us,” Fuschino said. “The referee let them do a little too much and it kind of got out of hand.”
There was a high turnout in the stands for the men’s first home game of the year, and although they were unable to connect on any scoring opportunities, the momentum was in the Pioneers’ favor with 15 total shots taken compared to the Spartans’ six.
“I thought it was a boxing match and I thought we had the upper (hand),” Fuschino said.
“We have to find a way to make goals now. In college sports you have to put the ball in the net and no team did. Although we did once, and I’m not sure why it didn’t count. The guys were eager to play their first home game in front of their fans. It was the best team we played so far. Unfortunately, you just have to put all the pieces together.”
The Pioneers’ defense finished with a bend-but-do-not-break attitude, and they were able to help keep the Spartans away from the net and assist senior goalkeeper Ian Christensen in defending that one goal.
The offense, led by Sarr, forced the Dubuque sophomore goalkeeper Jose Resendiz to save four shots on the goal. The Pioneers created offensive opportunities with several close shots from breakaways, corner kicks and in-the-box set-ups, but were shut out.
“We kept the ball for most of the game. We had a couple balls in the box floating around, but we just need to finish,” Sarr said.
The Pioneers, who are anchored by four seniors, and have mostly a young roster, must gain experience and confidence quickly to begin achieving the success they had last season.
“It doesn’t get any easier, but that’s why we are where we are. Keep up the momentum, focus a little more and finish more in the final third; finish in general,” Fuschino said.