By ALEX SPONSELLER The Pilgrim girls soccer team is once again one of the top contenders in the competitive Division I group and is looking to make a deep run in next month's playoffs. After winning their first nine league games, including a 1-0 decision
By ALEX SPONSELLER The Pilgrim girls soccer team is once again one of the top contenders in the competitive Division I group and is looking to make a deep run in next month’s playoffs.
After winning their first nine league games, including a 1-0 decision over defending champion La Salle, the Lady Pats hit a rough patch when they dropped a 1-0 loss to Cumberland and tied 1-1 to Cranston West the following game.
Pilgrim would rebound and cruise past a tough South Kingstown team in a 3-1 win last week and then shut out Portsmouth 6-0 on Tuesday.
“We’re battling through the season, we’ve had to deal with some injuries and are just starting to get some girls back. We had the loss to Cumberland which was actually a relief because being undefeated is difficult. It creates a lot of pressure and to not know the feeling of what it’s like to lose is a dangerous thing,” said Pilgrim coach Tom Flanders, who feels the team is prepared to make one final push in the regular season. “Ideally, you would like to be peeking at the end of the season so the timing was right. We knew that we had to make a few adjustments, but nothing earth shattering because we had our chances in those games. Now we can buckle down, relax and focus because we know the feeling of losing.”
Leading the Pats offensively are seniors Sarah Lynch and Alanna Coffie, who have each scored 15 goals to this point. Junior Gillian Brown has also netted eight goals while sophomore Amaya Coffie has recorded seven.
“We have a tremendous group of kids have been around for a while and a group of kids that are trying to make a name for themselves which is great. The competition at practice has been great because they know they are competing for minutes, and when they get out there in games they want to impress,” said Flanders of the team’s balance. “We have Larisa Stewart who is a young freshman and Amelia Murphy who has been a great center back, she is one of the best defenders in the state and she has really taken (Stewart) under her wing. It’s great when the seniors take an interest in the younger players and want to see the program have success.”
As always, the top of the Division I standings is a tight race and will likely take all regular season games to determine the final playoff seedings.
Although there is a lot on the line in the final leg of the regular season, Flanders likes where his team is at both physically and mentally.
“I think I pay more attention to the standings than the girls do and I like to keep it like that. They are more focused on the task at hand than standings and points and different scenarios. If they just focus on what they have to do the good things will happen, I really try to instill that in them,” Flanders said.
NOTE: The Pilgrim girls soccer team will also be holding a special event during Thursday’s game against Coventry. During the game, the team will be holding its “Fight for Rowan,” in efforts to help raise funds for Rowan Shaw, a 2-year-old Warwick resident that is battling cancer. The game is set to kick off at 6 p.m. on the Pilgrim High School campus and the team will be collecting donations for Rowan as well as wearing special attire to show its support.
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