The Warren County High School Pioneer soccer team suffered a season-opening loss to the Riverdale Warriors on Tuesday night at home, 3-2, in a hard-fought match.
The Pioneers were led by solid performances by Taylor Madewell and Jose Villanueva, who both had a goal apiece.
Riverdale controlled most of the first half by keeping the ball on its side of the field for most of the half, and not allowing the Pioneers to gain momentum on their home field. The score remained 1-0 in favor of the visiting Warriors, until late in the first half, when Riverdale scored at the six-minute mark to make it a 2-0 score heading into the half.
The Pioneers needed to regroup after the half to make a game out of it. After the half, Riverdale continued to control the attack of the Pioneers, and halfway through the second half the Warriors scored again to make it a 3-0 game with less than 20 minutes left. The Pioneers had a tough mountain to climb to tie or even gain the lead, but they never gave up.
With 10 minutes to go, the Pioneers finally got on the board, thanks to an amazing shot by Madewell that went into the upper right corner of the Warrior net to cut the lead to 3-1. Later on in the half Jose Villanueva found the back of the Warrior net with a goal of his own. The Warriors lead was now trimmed to 3-2 with three minutes to go.
Time ran out on the Pioneers as the Warriors controlled the ball to run out the clock, and the Pioneers suffered their first loss, but not without putting up a fight for 80 minutes.
Concerning how his team played WCHS coach Orion Smith said, “The boys played great the whole 80 minutes. They came back in the last 10 minutes and scored two goals, which is difficult against a very good team. I’m really impressed, we have 30 guys out there who are working their tails off and doing their best. I really appreciate all of their hard work and effort.”
The Pioneers will be back in action at home March 29 as they face the Tullahoma Wildcats. Time of the match is to be determined.