“Greatest feeling in the world”: Pioneer Soccer completes comeback against Skyline for the district title

ANN ARBOR – Diego Rivera had no words for his feelings. Leo Wilensky had experienced this moment before and was unimpressed.

The two Ann Arbor Pioneer boys soccer players had no doubt their team would break a second-half deficit in Thursday’s Division 1 district final against Ann Arbor Skyline, and their resilience was showing.

Despite losing 1-0 for most of the competition, the Pioneers recovered first with goals from Wilensky and Rivera, winning Skyline 2-1 for their second district title in three years.

“We just kept fighting,” said Rivera. “We always knew we would win the game. Hitting her is the best feeling I’ve ever had in my life. I am still in the process of processing it and I am currently lacking words. “

Pioneer were 1-0 down at halftime, but the game ended with a 17:58 remaining after Wilensky’s goal in the second half and Rivera’s goal gave the Pioneers a final 7:40 lead.

Skyline did not go quietly as they were more than 60 minutes ahead thanks to a goal from Job Munongo in the first half and tried several shots too late to level the result.

But the last attempts of the Eagles were turned down by Pioneer goalie Zach Wilhelm and the Pioneers celebrated the dramatic victory.

“That’s the greatest feeling in the world,” said Wilensky about the victory. “We have come back in a lot of games this season so I feel like this game was no different. At halftime, the coach said to us, ‘Hey, believe in yourselves, just play your game and you’ll get through,’ and we did. “

The Pioneers had played close games with the Eagles twice this season, with both regular season games ending in a 1-1 draw.

But instead of a tie, the Pioneers were able to get the additional number of points this time and will now advance to the regional semi-finals to fight against Salem, who defeated Canton 2-1 on Thursday to also advance.

Pioneer will face Salem at Dearborn Edsel Ford High School on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

“We just believed in ourselves and what we had been working on all year and the ball jumped in the second half,” said Pioneer coach Jon Sundermann.

While they were excited about the win, the Pioneers are already looking forward to the next chapter of their journey after the season.

“We’re celebrating tonight and looking forward to the next game tomorrow,” said Wilensky. “You can’t look back on these things, you have to keep going and that’s it. I have to look forward to the next game, win it, hopefully continue and reach states. “


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