Coach Steve Gundrum’s 2013 Pinkerton Academy girls’ soccer squad had a strong season, making it all the way to the Division I tournament semifinals before being eliminated by the slimmest of margins by the Bedford High Lady Bulldogs.
The Lady Astros put together a 13-2-1 regular season record to finish second in their tough class. They then went on to knock off Nashua North in the tourney quarterfinals before dropping the tough, 1-0 decision to Bedford in the semis.
This past spring’s PA graduation stung Gundrum’s group mightily, removing seven players from the program. including versatile Jacqui Wyka and Katyann Grochmal, midfielders Erin Coutts, Eva Murray, and Natalie Fabrizio, and defenders Julie Murray and Gabby Guinto.
But the academy crew has a bunch of returning starters, a handful of other varsity returnees who will be asked to play larger roles, and a number of promising newcomers who Gundrum will try to integrate into a mix of 2014 players who would love nothing better than to put forth the kind of performances with which the 2013 contingent succeeded.
The Lady Astros’ list of returning starters includes seniors Maggie McCarthy (middie) and Andrea Galvin (middie), juniors Sammy Mitchell (goalie), Catherine Goodwin (defense), and Keara Doolan (middie), and sophomores Erica Parent (defense), Reanna Romano (middie), Courtney Velho (middie/defense), and Mel Roberge (forward).
The other varsity returnees include seniors Hannah Smith (defense), McKenzie Anderson (defense/ middie) and Aeriela Thornton (forward), and sophomore Avery Drouin (middie).
The lengthy list of promising new Lady Astros includes juniors Emily Hallee (middie), Kyra Goucher (middie), and Molly Gingras (goalie), and sophomores Julia Bousqet (forward), Kyra Stariknok (middie/forward), Nicole Gonya (middie/forward), and Megan Jarvis (defense).
When asked what his squad’s keys to success will be, Gundrum said, “Staying healthy, and finishing (scoring) chances.”
And when glancing at the rest of Division I this fall, Gundrum called Bedford, Exeter, Londonderry, Manchester Central, and Nashua North the opponents that concern him most.