Pioneers’ journey to National title ends in defeat against North Carolina Fusion | News
LUDLOW, MA WGGB/WSHM)–The Western Mass Pioneers’ run for a National title has ended after playing in the USL League two semi-finals.
The Pioneers were up one to nothing at the end of the first half but then falling behind in the second. A scrimmage broke out around the 89th minute, causing four pioneers to receive red cards and ending the game with a three-to-one loss.
The team has played their last two games in Georgia, but that hasn’t stopped their fans from cheering on their hometown squad.
The pioneers are USL league Two Eastern Conference Champions. On Friday, the club defeated the West Chester United Predators to take the Eastern Conference title. On Sunday, fans gathered at the Portuguese Club across from the stadium in Ludlow for a watch party as the team faced the North Carolina Fusion in the National semi-final match. Fans indulged in pizza, drinks and of course cheering on the Pioneers.
We spoke to Brandon Smith, the Director of Operations for the team. He said making it this far for time since 2005 had both players and fans excited for the match.
“It’s great it’s been a lot of buzz here in western Mass. about this team we’ve got a lot of fans coming out and supporting us we just want to keep on winning and hopefully have a championship game here,” said Smith.
The team had put a bid in to host the National Title match right at Lusitano Stadium if they had won. If they had won, it would have been their first shot at a National title since 1997.