LACROSSE: Saline Defeats Pioneer, 13-7, Remains Unbeaten in SEC Red

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Saline scored six goals in six minutes to blow open their SEC Red game against Pioneer. Saline won 13-7 and remained unbeaten in the SEC Red with just one contest remaining against Huron Monday.

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Quinn Brophy and Brendan Shinavier each scored three goals for Saline.  Eli Routt and Gavin Klaassen tallied twice. Brady Fiske, Brodie Mahmud  and Christopher Robison also scored for Saline.

Christopher Peterson made several great stops in goal.

Shinavier said it's always a big win to beat Pioneer.

"Pioneer's a big rival. For our senior class, we've never lost to them, so it's always a big win to go out and beat up on little brother," Shinavier said.

Saline lacrosse coach Ryan Crawford said Pioneer was a tough team that came to play.

"You could tell they wanted it. They have good athletes and talented kids. They came out firing. It took us a little bit to get into gear and match that intensity," Crawford said. "We turned it on the third quarter and pulled away a little bit."

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Saline started the game with dominant possession, but the Hornets couldn't score until they got a gift from the Pioneer goalie. 6:41 into the quarter the Pioneer goalie came way out of the net to make a pass and Quinn Brophy intercepted it and fired it into an empty cage.

Moments later, Saline scored again. Klassen fought his way into the slot from the right wing and scored with a sidearm sling.

Pioneer scored a big goal with 1.7 seconds left in the first to stay in the game.

About four minutes into the second period after prolonged pressure, Saline went up 3-1 when CJ Robison picked up a loose ball, sprinted up the middle and whipped an overhand shot that bounced past the goalie. 

With 3:24 to play in the half, Saline went up 4-1 on its prettiest goal of the game. At one end of the field, Peterson made a great save. Then he launched a long pass to Klassen, who leaped to make the catch. Klassen then fired a pass to Robison, who made a great catch on the run. Robison sprinted up the right side, drawing the attention of the defense as he neared the goal, then he tossed a pass back to Brophy, who fired the ball past the helpless goalie.

But the Pioneers didn't give up and they scored two goalies in the final 1:41 of the half to make it 4-3.

"They were winning the ground balls and we needed to match that intensity," Crawford said.

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That's what Saline did to start the third quarter. It started with Xavier Spickard controlling the faceoffs. After Spickard won the opening faceoff, Saline scored when Klassen brought the ball from behind the net and scored while fading away.

36 seconds later, after Spickard won another faceoff, Shinavier worked his way in from the sideline to the slot and fired a sidearm shot into the goal to make it 6-3.

Again, Spickard won the draw and it took Brodie Mahmud just two seconds to score. Saline led 7-3 not even three minutes into the quarter.  Less than a minute later, Routt ran the ball up the center of the field and then catapulted a shot that bounced in. Moments later, Routt scored again.

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Spickard was asked about his faceoff success to start the third quarter.

"I just knew we had to step it up and I tried to come out with as much energy as I could," Spickard said.

Coach Crawford said the faceoff wins helped spur the surge.

"It was great. I think it was four or five in a row and it led to a couple fast-break goals. You win draws and shoot the ball the way we do, you can play with anyone," Crawford said.

Pioneer replied with three straight goals to make it 10-6, but then they gave another one back to Saline. A Pioneer defender passed the ball back to the goalie, but the pass bounced past him into the empty net.  Brady Fiske was credited with the goal.

That goal seemed to deflate any comeback attempts. Late in the fourth, Shinavier took a pass from Klassen and scored from the slot. Shinavier added another goal, taking a pass from Routt and then ripping a 15-yard shot past the goalie, to complete the scoring.

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Saline hosts Huron Monday for senior night.

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