The Pinkerton Academy boys’ varsity soccer squad kicked off its 2014 campaign last week with solid wins over Merrimack and Nashua South. And in both cases, second-half scoring success sat at the heart of the Astros’ victorious efforts.
The academy crew opened its new campaign on the road Wednesday, Sept. 3 with a superb second half performance in a 4-1 defeat of the host Merrimack High Tomahawks.
The winless hosts (0-2) scored the first goal just eight minutes into the match, but the academy side finally answered with five minutes left in the first half when Alex Ebner netted an unassisted marker to knot the score at 1-1.
The local guys then bagged three unanswered tallies in a span of 12 minutes once the second half got rolling, with Ebner collecting what proved to be the game-winner 10 minutes in. And like his first goal, the winner went unassisted.
Insurance tallies were contributed by Trevor Morrison five minutes later (from Stuart Graves) and Kyle Hicks (from Morrison) seven minutes after that.
Pinkerton goalie Hayden Pavao contributed five saves to the successful Astro effort, and coach Kerry Boles found himself with reasons to be at least moderately pleased with his crew’s first performance of the campaign.
“After falling behind early, we were able to rebound and find the net four times,” said the coach. “I’m fairly happy with our performance today. Obviously, it’s very early, but I’m glad that we kept fighting after falling behind. We have some things to correct, but this was a good outing for us.”
Boles singled out the efforts of Hicks, Colin Coutts, Sean Muller, and Cole Perry as being particularly strong for his victorious crew.
The academy contingent then hosted its home opener last Friday, Sept. 5 in steamy weather conditions in moving to 2-0 on the young campaign by handing the 0-2 Nashua High South Purple Panthers a 2-0 defeat.
The contest was scoreless until the second half, when the hosts received markers from Chris Roman and Andrew Brochu to bag the shutout.
Both tallies came in the first five minutes of the second period, with Ronan snagging an unassisted goal a minute in and Brochu being set up by teammate Cole Perry for the insurance goal just three minutes later.
Pinkerton thumped some 16 shots on the Nashua net while its own keeper Pavao only had to turn aside five South blasts to assure his side of the shutout win.
Coach Boles singled out Kyle Hicks, Alex Ebner, Sean Muller, and Cole Perry for their efforts in the victory and then happily went on to add, “South is a much-improved team with a solid goalkeeper. They made us work very hard today in the blistering heat and humidity. Fortunately, we were able to stick a couple of goals in the net. We’ll take it and move on.”