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Highlanders Spoil Pioneers Opener

May 17, 2010 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) - Western Mass Pioneers News Release

LUDLOW, Mass., May 15, 2010 - Albany's Roberto Sgueglia ripped around a goal in the top left corner of the net in the 10th minute of play, and that was all the visiting Highlanders needed to seal the deal on a 1-0 shutout victory over host, Western Mass. The Highlanders (1-0-1) showed poise and were able to sniff out some of the offensive scheming by Western Mass (0-1-1), who outshot Albany by a favorable margin of 21 to 4. In their first official game in PDL competition, Western Mass appeared as though they were a solid team. During their offseason, they had undergone much preparation with several mini-camps and practices, but scoring a potential game-tying goal was unachievable. The Pioneers displayed tenacity, speed, and scrappy game play that earned them a great deal of crowd exuberance from the Lusitano faithful. The end result, however, was nil in terms of bringing home the victory for a hard-fought battle on the pristine spring Ludlow evening.

Yellows were issued to Albany defenseman, David Burke (:33) and Western Mass midfielder, Chris Stoker (:62). All in all, a strong debut was brought forth by the Pioneers. Notables were midfielder Rob Cavener, and forward, Justin Brewer. Their field presence and quality leadership kept Western Mass in the game. Veteran Federico Molinari administered the corner-kicks for the Pioneers' attack; however, following through on these executed plays disallowed Western Mass, as a whole, the opportunity to answer back to Albany's lead.

The next day in Portland allowed the Pioneers to gain their first point of the season, in a 0-0 draw. Goal keeper Shane Curran-Hays posted 12 saves in the game.

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