By Julie Baumgarten
It was expected to be a close match, but it wasn’t. The top-seeded Pioneers blew out the Dowling College Golden Lions at home in the second round of the NCAA playoffs on Saturday, Nov. 16. This crucial win advances the Pioneers to the third round, the Sweet 16.
Pioneer fans held their breath for the first 18 scoreless minutes. They breathed a sigh of relief when senior midfielder Jonathon Watkin scored the first goal of the game off an assist by sophomore midfielder Per Forgaard. A quick three minutes later, the Pioneers’ leading scorer, junior forward Eivind Austboe, notched a goal of his own.
Less than three minutes later, senior back Eirik Bjoernoe scored off an assist by sophomore midfielder Matias Ruiz. A free kick just over 10 minutes later led to a fourth Pioneer goal. Less than two minutes before the half, Forgaard scored off an assist by Bjoernoe, for a 5-0 lead at halftime.
The second period started with a new goalkeeper in for Dowling. Daniel Jenson did his best to stop the Pioneers from scoring, but his efforts fell short. Another Watkin goal off an assist by Forgaard brought the Pioneers to a 6-0 lead. The Golden Lions finally made it onto the scoreboard in the final 11 minutes of action.
The 6-1 win advances the Pioneers to play Southern New Hampshire University at 10 a.m. at Mercyhurst Soccer Field in Erie, P.A. in the third round of the NCAA playoffs on Friday, Nov. 22. The winning team of that match will hold the 2013 NCAA Division II East Region title, and advance to play the winner of the match-up between Millersville and Mercyhurst, on Sunday, Nov. 24.