On Sunday, The U13 Pelham Red Hawks returned to the Northeast Athletic Club complex in Pembroke to take on Bedford AC for the NHSL Division 3 Championship. Pelham got off to a fast start, pressuring the Bedford defense in the wings in the opening minute. Joe Carney, Rami Eid, and Joe Moore each had scoring chances inside the Bedford penalty box, only to be turned away by excellent play from the Bedford goalie. Slowly, Bedford began to turn the momentum in their favor. With Bedford playing several balls into the Pelham penalty area, the Red Hawk defense had to scramble to keep Bedford off the score board. Balls that did get through were controlled by Red Hawk goalie, Joe Ferchak. The first half ended with no score.
In the second half, Pelham again mounted an early attack with Jake DeSousa, Keegan Garrett, and James Msaddi combining with the forward trio of Eid, Carney and Moore to control the run of play. About 10 minutes into the half, a ball played from the left wing found Jake DeSousa just inside the top of the penalty area. After settling the ball, he fire a shot, past the diving Beford goalie, into the low, right corner of the net, putting the Red Hawks ahead 1-0. Not content with just the one goal, the Red Hawks continued to control play through the midfield and into the Bedford end of the field. Solid defense and continued strong goalie play by Bedford kept the Red Hawks from extending their lead. As the half wore on, Bedford played with more energy and got more players into the attack. But, the Pelham defensive effort was up to the challenge with Chris Druding and Keegan Garrett bottling up the midfield, and Michael Grosman, Colby Shawver, Jack Maclean, and Tyler Larson keeping the Bedford scoring chances to a minimum. The shots that did get through were controlled nicely by Joe Ferchak in the Pelham net. After several tense minutes of Bedford pressure, the final whistle blew and Pelham earned a hard fought 1-0 victory and the NHSL, U13-Division 3 Championship!
In the end, it was a total team effort; including key minutes from Jackson Gustavsen, Tim O'Connor, Tyler Passamonte, Cody Fox, Calvin Jozokos, and Victor Palazzolo, that helped propel the Red Hawks to the win.
Front Row -
Tyler Passamonte, Tim O'Connor, Colby Shawver, Victor Palazzolo, Jake DeSousa,
Rami Eid, James Msaddi, Calvin Jozokos, Jackson Gustavsen
Back Row - Tyler Larson, Keegan Garrett,
Cody Fox, Joe Moore, Jack Maclean, Joe Ferchak, Michael Grosman, Chris Druding,
Joe Carney (missing, Nick Robichaux)
Behind players - Coach Derek Gustavsen,
Coach Jim Druding