Pelham girls drop second soccer matchup against rival Windham
Neither team broke onto the scoreboard until late in the second half when Windham tallied two to come away with the victory.
The Pythons, coming into the game at 3-8, hung with the Jaguars, but could not keep them out of the net in the end. The two teams met one week earlier, with a similar result, but that game needed two overtimes to be decided.
'It was almost a repeat of last week's game that went into double overtime, but I think they just had a little too much strength for us,' Pelham head coach Bob Keane said. 'I thought it was a heck of a game. We're playing a team in a division up and a very good team, and I think we held our own for most of the game.'
Windham controlled possession and the tempo for the majority of the game. The Jaguars continually tested the Pelham defense and goalie, taking shots whenever an opportunity arose.
The Pythons narrowly escaped danger early in the first half when a Windham shot trickled just outside the left post. The teams went into the break scoreless, but each had its collection of chances.
The beginning of the second half looked similar. Windham continually fired shots that couldn't find the back of the Pythons' net.
Pelham's best chance came mid-way through the second half on a near breakaway. Just before a Pythons could get a touch on the ball, Windham's stingy defense came through with another knock away.
With about 13 minutes left in the game, Windham finally broke open the scoring. The Jaguars scored an insurance goal with four-and-a-half minutes to play to make the score 2-0, where it would remain.
Keane was impressed with the way his team played against a difficult opponent. Windham, a Division II team, improved to 10-3 on the season. In the two games against Windham, Pelham's scoreless offense could not help the defense.
'As long as they keep playing the way they are, that's all I care about,' Keane said.
The Pythons defense stood out for its head coach on Saturday.
Keane said he was proud of Brenda Pietrillo, Brooke Paradis, Allyson Masson, Morgan Pinkston and Shylyn Harrington, who all played well through tough matchups.
'Shylyn Harrington, she's a freshman and is just playing outstanding soccer,' he said.
Although the loss dropped the Pythons to 3-9, they still have a slim chance at a playoff spot. After starting the season with six straight defeats, Pelham has traded streaks of three wins and three losses. They have three games left in the regular season, two of which are on the road before they finish at home against Raymond.
'They're improving, they're getting to be a better and better team and I'm looking forward to being back together with them next year,' Keane said. 'We've still got a shot to take a few games. There's an outside chance we're still peeking in the playoff window.'