A tough loss followed by a tie and then a tight win last week left the busy Pinkerton Academy boys’ soccer squad contemplating a 4-2-1 record as this week began.
The Astros were forced to deal with a displeasing dose of frustration early last week, caused by a tough 2-1 loss to the host Alvirne High Broncos in Hudson on Tuesday, Sept. 16.
The 3-2 Broncos potted goals in the sixth and 14th minutes of the contest to drive out to a 2-0 advantage. Pinkerton answered with a marker from Cole Perry (from Colin Coutts) in the 20th minute, but that would be it on the scoring as the Astros also moved to 3-2.
PA goalie Hayden Pavao made five saves in the tough loss, but Alvirne keeper Jake Schofield was good for eight stops in his side’s slim success.
“This was a very frustrating day for us,” said PA coach Kerry Boles. “When you do everything right except win the scoreboard battle, you’re going to be frustrated. We just could not catch a break today. It appears that Division I is an ‘on any given day’ scenario this year.”
Players upon whom Boles placed praise were senior captain Kyle Hicks, junior Coutts, senior Chris Ronan, and junior Conor Rathburn.
Boles and his boys desperately wanted to wipe away the frustrations built up in Hudson with a win in Manchester against the Central Little Green two days later. But the locals had to settle for a 1-1 tie that placed their season record at 3-2-1 overall.
Sean Donohue handed the Astros a 1-0 lead by scoring a mere three minutes into the match (assist to Stuart Graves), but the 3-1-1 hosts knotted the game tally at 1-1 with 15 minutes left in regulation time and that score never changed.
Pavao tallied seven saves for PA in the deadlock against an opponent that tested Boles’ bunch.
“This was a good test for us today. Central played great and had us scrambling a bit. But we were able to create some opportunities that would have given us a different result, had we finished them. We’ll take the points and move on,” said the coach.
The academy side then capped off its busy week by playing host to the Salem High Blue Devils on Saturday, Sept. 20. And Boles’ bunch closed out the week with a 3-2, comeback edging of the visiting Salem High Blue Devils in Homecoming Day action.
The now 3-4 visitors tallied a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute of the match, but their hosts knotted the score at 1-1 just a minute later when Hicks was set up by Coutts.
Salem regained the upper hand with a goal 17 minutes into the second half, but the academy side answered with tallies from Coutts five minutes later (assist to Cole Perry) and Cobi Moore six minutes after that (from Perry) to snare the win.
Keeper Pavao contributed four saves to the winning performance, with Salem goalie Colton Burnham making 18 stops in his cage to keep the contest tight.
“Homecoming games are always a battle for us,” said Boles. “It doesn’t matter what the records are, these games are always going to be a challenge, and this year was no diffferent. Overall, we are improving, but we need to start minimizing our mistakes or it will be a short post-season. This is a concern.”