Leavenworth scored three goals in the final 12 minutes to pull away for the 4-0 victory over the Washington Wildcats on Monday night at Pioneer Stadium.
It was the first win of the season after a tie with Lansing and a loss at Bonner Springs.
“It felt good for us to kind of work the ball around like I thought we'd do,” said head coach Ken Lott. “It took us a while to settle in after our first goal or two.”
It was a 1-0 game for much of the night, but senior Evan Lott put one in with 11:51 left in the game.
Four different players scored goals for the Pioneers. Senior Devin Lorenzini got the game started with a goal only a few minutes into the game.
Senior Gonzalo Fernandez put one through with about four minutes left and senior Cameron Hayes finished it off with a goal of his own with just 1:58 left.
When the game started to get out of hand, the Wildcats started trying to get into the Pioneers' heads with some trash talk.
“I think the guys know that there are teams out there that try to do that, and we have to keep our cool and continue to play and that's what we did,” Lott said. “If you're going to say something you should say it on the scoreboard.”
Lott did give Washington some credit for hanging close for much of the game.
“The other team pushed pretty hard,” Lott said “They did very well with the guys they had. It looked like they had some guys with a little more experience than others but they did a good job at taking us one-on-one for the most part.”
But in the end, Leavenworth ran away with the win.
“We won a lot of 50-50 balls,” Lott said. “We made some good passes. We were a little bit off in the first half but we found it in the second half, which was good to see.”
With the Pioneers pulling away late, Lott was able to make a few more substitutions.
“We put in a couple of guys that don't get a lot of time,” Lott said. “I'm switching back and forth between my keepers because I'm trying to create a competition there to make sure that I've got the best one in.”
Senior Dylon Levine started the game, but junior Alex Samouce was able to come in with a few minutes remaining.
The Pioneers will play the second game in this four-game homestand at 1 p.m. on Saturday against Junction City.