***********The Pelham Soccer Club’s opening week offers exciting local soccer matches ****************
U12 Girls – Pelham Pumas 4, Merrimack 3
The Pumas kicked off their season with a back-and-forth 4-3 win in Merrimack. The Pumas stalled slightly in the first half falling behind 1-0. They came off the field at half time with a look in their eye that showed that they were serious about getting that goal back. The second half proved to be extremely exciting with many goals scored on both ends of the field. Kiera Garrett started things off for Pelham with a beautiful shot from just inside the goal box to tie the game. Merrimack returned fire and scored 2 quick ones but the Pumas did not hang back. With all of their focus on scoring, the Pumas worked together with awesome support from mid-fielders Alena Masterson and Madison Burke. They fed the ball to Brittany Ducharme who scored back-to-back goals to tie the game. One goal was a bomb from the right sideline and Brit’s second was quick chip shot that beat the goalie on her short side. With only 2 minutes remaining, both teams felt the pressure. Two quick shots from Merrimack were graciously saved by the keeper Amira Eid to keep the Pumas in the game. Amira’s goal kick cleared half field and the Pumas were off to the races. With under a minute left, and much congestion in front of Merrimack’s goal, center forward Chantal Oujaimi took the shot to win it all from the middle of the goal box. Congrats to the entire Pumas team for a great start.
U12 Girls – Pelham Pumas 0, Exeter Express 1
The Pumas invited Exeter for their home opener this past Sunday and were edged slightly in a great game. The first half was exciting with many shots on both goaltenders; nothing would get through to the back of the net. Exeter’s only goal came about midway through the second half. The Pumas’ defensive corps was held together by a strong foursome of Hanna Beaudette, Megan Landry, Holly Feola, and Cathryn Scanlon. Up front, the relentless Erin Paradis tirelessly hammered away on the right side for 30 straight minutes but was met every time by the super-strong Exeter defense. “We started to wear them down’, stated coach, “ we just ran out of time”. Pelham gets their rematch at the end of October in Exeter.
U13 Boys – Pelham Pythons 4, Exeter Express 6
Pelham Pythons took a ride up to Exeter for a very evenly matched soccer game. With the cool air and bright sun it was a perfect afternoon for soccer. This year the Pythons moved up to division U-13 11v11. With only 12 players at the game Sunday, leaving only 1 substitute, these kids played a hard fought game. The Pythons came out of this game with a 6-4 loss but that loss was nothing short of amazing team work. Alex Becker scored 2 goals, both by heading the ball into the net by perfectly executed passes from Jack Fallon. Jack Fallon also scored 2 goals one from a pass from Max Odryna and the other was on a penalty shot. Rachel Marion and Morgan Pratt played exceptional defense and Nick Kathios was a huge success in his big “boots” down to the other side of the field. Ben Paquette seemed to be everywhere on the field when needed. Goalies Zach Rossi and Jack Frey made some huge plays in the net, sometimes blocking 2-3 shots in one play. This team consistently plays as a full team and it shows by watching how they move the ball to each other. Coach Aidan Fallon and Coach Chuck Rossi have had a tremendous impact on these players and it is a true joy to watch them grow under their direction. The Python’s play again this Saturday at Oyster River.
U11 Girls – Pelham Lady Red Bulls vs. Amherst
The Pelham U11 Girls Soccer team, a.k.a., the Lady Red Bulls, came back to soccer this season ready to play. Each of the 13 girls worked through intense conditioning sessions this past August and even attended a week long, full day soccer camp. Many even have challenged themselves with completing 5k’s and outside conditioning and practice. The result? One strong group of U11 girls who can play solid for 60 minutes and win soccer games. After a hard fought scoreless game last week in Bedford, the Lady Red Bulls wanted goals in the worst way, and this past Sunday in hosting Amherst they were finally rewarded. Aggressive Forward/Midfielder, Olivia Gagnon, fed the ball into Amherst’s zone again and again giving Pelham many chances to score in the first half to no avail. Fullbacks, Tallie Carney and Jessica Blanchard and Jessica Amidon held an iron defense keeping Amherst away from the Lady Red Bull’s net. Midfielder, Aria O’Connell, got the ball in front of the Amherst’s net multiple time, but luck wasn’t on her side. Even Attacker, Jocelyn Isabelle’s, booted attempts fell short . Then finally after a quick pep talk at the half, the girls went out and “took the bull by the horns” and shot and scored again and again and again! The first score was from a beautiful power shot by Forward/Midfielder Taylor Casazza who came from the side and focused on her target and punched it in. The ice was broken and scores then came in from Forward/Goalie, Jillian Schwab as a result of some great passing and driving in front of the net. Speedy Attacker, Abby Schwab came in with her own goal after some persistent play. Forward/Midfielder, Molly Jackson had many nicely shot balls and cringingly close goals. Goalie/Forward, Sidney Todd wanted a piece of the action ‘on the other side of the net’ and netted 2 goals in a row. Emma Schuler and Jocelyn Correa showed some great offensive play and kept the ball in Pelham’s possession. Second half defense continued strong from O’Connell, Carney and Blanchard who completely shut down Amherst’s offense. Hard work DOES pay off and the U11 Pelham Lady Red Bulls proved it this Sunday. Catch more Pelham Club Soccer next week at the Raymond Park Field off of Keyes Hill Road Saturday and Sunday afternoon.