It took some time for the Warren County Middle School soccer team to get going, but Abraham Pumarino and the Pioneers picked up their play in the second half Friday to stay undefeated.
Pumarino scored two goals to start the second half and Jakob Morin added a late score as Warren County downed Tullahoma 3-1 at Nunley Stadium to improve to 4-0-1 this season.
Neither team scored in the first half, but it wasn’t for lack of chances for the Pioneers. Warren County peppered the Tullahoma goal with shots, including five shots in a row off corner kicks, but the visiting keeper stood tall each time.
By the time the halftime whistle blew, the Pioneers retreated to the bench still looking for an answer to solve the Tullahoma defense. Coach Matt Jackson was about to give his team the key.
Coach Jackson made a lineup shift, moving primary scorer James Jackson into the middle while moving Pumarino to the left side. The switch paid immediate dividends as Pumarino scored two minutes into the second half, then added another goal shortly after.
Pumarino’s first goal happened as the speedy eighth-grader was able to get around the Tullahoma defense. With a rare one-on-one opportunity, Pumarino blasted his shot past the keeper for a 1-0 lead.
Minutes later, Pumarino rushed to the goal after a flurry of shots by the Pioneers. After a save ricocheted right to him, Pumarino wrapped another shot around the keeper and into the right corner to make it 2-0 in favor of Warren County.
The Pioneers looked in total control after the second goal, but Tullahoma changed the momentum with a free kick. A foul on the Pioneers gave Tullahoma a scoring opportunity from 30 yards away and the shot sailed over the outstretched hands of Pioneer keeper J.D. Keele’s hands and into the net.
It would be the last goal Tullahoma would get as Keele made sure nothing got by him late.
Morin tacked on a late insurance goal for the Pioneers when he rushed in from the right side and beat the keeper with a left-footed kick that delighted his coach. It proved to be the final goal of the game as the whistle blew seconds later.
The win came three days after the Pioneers blanked Franklin North 5-0 last Tuesday. Morin scored twice in that game while Jackson, Pumarino and Juan Casas had one goal each.
The Pioneers will return to action Tuesday against Coffee County at home. The game at Nunley Stadium is set to start at 6 p.m.