By Alex Hardie
The Dexter soccer team has proven to be the head of the class in the SEC Red Division with wins over Tecumseh and Chelsea. The Dreadnaughts also can play with anyone on the other side of the SEC as they proved with a victory over on Saturday over Pioneer.
The Pioneers, playing on the road, faced a Dreadnaught squad that showed great determination and solid ball possession to keep the Dreads spotless with an 8-0-1 record.
Early in the game, both teams showed an ability to control the ball and set up scoring chances. Twelve minutes in, Dexter’s Jalen Bonilla took a ball from Alex Doletzky and fired it past the helpless keeper.
Exactly two minutes later, Bonilla laid a ball off to Daniel Higgins for a goal to increase the Dreadnaught lead to 2-0.
Both teams created additional chances in the game with the Pioneer’s best ringing off the crossbar. The rebound was gathered in by Dexter keeper Max Harreld who led his defense to their seventh shutout in nine games.
“The boys brought their ‘A’ game against a quality opponent. Pioneer has a very competitive schedule so their 2-5-0 record is deceiving,” said Dexter Coach Scott Forrester. “Though these young men put together a quality game, there are several areas that need addressing.”
The Dexter soccer team remained undefeated in division play earlier in the week with a 4-0 win against the host Chelsea Bulldogs.
Traditionally this match-up is considered a rivalry match, and this game wouldn’t be any different. Just over 3 minutes into the game, the first of four cautions were handed out when a Chelsea player fouled a Dread well after the ball was gone.
The Bulldogs received another yellow card 7 minutes later due to another hard foul.
Dexter continued to play with great composure and controlled much of the early possession. Numerous balls served into the box were taken in by the Chelsea keeper because of their poor direction.
Ryan Sanders broke the deadlock when he made a well-timed diagonal run along the Bulldog line and Jaylen Bonilla passed the ball through for the Dexter 1-0 lead with 17:56 on the clock.
The physical play flustered the Dreadnaughts as two were cautioned for descent in the last 9 minutes of the half.
“Their play got us out of our game. We lost focus and fell into a trap that took us out of our rhythm,” said Forrester.
As the second half began, Dexter showed their form as they played with the composure and discipline they started the game with. Five minutes into the second half, Connor Flaherty got on the end of a Ryan Sander’s corner kick and headed it past the helpless keeper.
Another 7 minutes off the clock and another Dreadnaught goal. This time Danial Higgins passed a ball into Ryan Sanders, who fought off two defenders and fired his shot in for a 3-0 lead.
With 22 minutes left, Riley Cyrulnik lined up a free kick from 35 yards out, sent it in to an on rushing Cole Harreld who flicked it past the on rushing Bulldog keeper.
Led by Harreld, the platoon of defenders, Conner Flaherty, Jordan Laski, Dominick Burmeister, Caden Doll, Matt Roller, Noah Rogge and Harrison Kim, the Dreadnaughts earned their fifth shutout of the young season.
Dexter hosts two home games this week with kickoffs at 4 p.m. for the junior varsity and 5:30 p.m. for the varsity. Tuesday’s opponent will be the Pinckney Pirates and on Thursday the Dreadnaughts host the River Rats of Ann Arbor Huron.