The undefeated, top-seeded Pilgrim girls soccer team continued to roll as it cruised past visiting Wheeler 7-0 in the Division II Quarterfinals on Saturday morning.
After a slow start to open the first half, the Pats would go off for five goals in a 14-minute span to grab the 5-0 lead at the break. Pilgrim would dominate throughout the second half as well, adding two more scores to wrap up the lopsided victory and to punch its ticket to this Wednesday’s semifinal.
“We couldn’t be happier. We had a bit of a rough start but then an explosion happened and we started feeling it, feeling how to get inside, the passes we made were phenomenal, we had some really beautiful goals. There was a lot of fantastic play and the girls enjoyed themselves,” said Pilgrim coach Tom Flanders after the win.
Leading the way for Pilgrim was Lily Brown, who netted three goals and an assist.
“Lily played fantastic today especially with her decision making. Sure, she had goals, but she also had assists and was unselfish. We are trying to make sure that they were always making the right decisions, and today, they were spot on with that,” said Flanders.
Relying on her teammates paid dividends, according to Brown.
“I was using my teammates to get my shots off. My shots have been off recently so I was using my sister Gillian, I was using Alanna (Coffie), I was turning on people, passing, then they started slipping me in and I began taking my shots,” said Brown.
Coffie scored a pair of goals in the win, while Gillian Brown scored a goal and added two assists. Sarah Lynch scored a goal and an assist, while Janelle Mixner, Keira Ramsden and Hannah Lee all chipped in assists.
Mixner finished the day with three saves in net.
Flanders was excited to see his club’s offense catch fire in the first half and hopes to carry that momentum throughout the rest of the tournament.
“There’s always an easing in period at the beginning of games, but for us to score in that manner was remarkable. I was thrilled, I figured we’d get one or two in but I never would have thought we would be up 5-0 at half, it was a great position to be in,” said Flanders. “They work hard, they talk to each other, they care about each other.”
The big win also made the rest of the Pats even more confident.
“Our confidence level really went up (with the win), we came into the game a little nervous about what happened last year,” said Lily Brown, referencing last year’s state title loss. “The first 15 minutes were a little rough, but once we started to play our game we started to have fun. This was about as much fun as we have had in a game this season.”
Pilgrim will take on the winner of Monday’s quarterfinal matchup between Moses Brown and Exeter-West Greenwich. The results were not available at press time.
“We’re definitely not going to hold our heads as high as last year. We know that anything can happen, so that’s our mindset,” said Lily Brown. “We’re going into it having no idea what’s going to happen.”