The defending Division III Champion Pilgrim boys soccer team has started its 2019 campaign strong, winning its first two games over Rogers and Providence Country Day by a combined score of 20-1.
The Pats opened their season against Rogers and took home a big 12-1 victory.
Danny Peixinho, who led the team and state in goals last year, paced the Pats in the win with three goals and two assists. Aaron Ramos also chipped in three goals to go along with an assist, while Paolo Frias, Gio Andrade and Josh Delaroca all chipped in two goals each.
Zach DaSilva added three assists, while Collin Murphy and Frias added two. Ken Rix and Matt Gibeau each recorded an assist as well. Goalkeepers Steve Laurent and RJ Ryan combined for nine saves in net for Pilgrim in the win.
Pilgrim then hosted PCD and took home a big 8-0 shutout victory to improve to 2-0.
Gibeau paced the Pats with a pair of goals, while Ramos, Murphy, DaSilva, Delaroca, Jacob Holland and Jose Mattzer each added one score apiece. Frias recorded two assists while Peixinho, Ramos, DaSilva, Delaroca and Travis Reiss all chipped in one. Laurent had an easy day in the net for the Pats, recording just one save.
Pilgrim finished as the hottest team in the division last season and pulled off the upset victory over St. Ray’s in the state championship game. The Pats have been focused on keeping the ball rolling from last year’s big win, and hope to put on a show for the fans each game.
“It’s important that we keep up that energy as defending D3 state champs. The fans expect it too, we need to perform,” said Delaroca, who feels that Pilgrim’s offensive success has stemmed from spreading the ball out and consistently finding the open attacker. “We have been trying to get goals for everybody but whoever is in the spot to get it will get it. The defense has been playing well too, we have all been trying to help each other out so we do not have to do everything by ourselves,” said Delaroca.
Murphy also believes that spreading the ball out has been key for the Pilgrim offense, and also considers the Pats to be one of the most well-rounded teams in the state.
“We are playing well as a unit, and I think the reason we have been playing so well is because we have a strong offense, a strong defense, and we are good at the midfield. We have been working hard to keep clean sheets,” said Murphy.
Murphy and company hope to learn from each game, and to be playing their best soccer down the stretch come playoff time.
“We are going to try to keep this momentum rolling, and we want to continue to have a positive point of view,” said Murphy. “We need to keep building off of our past victories as the playoffs come and hope for the best.”
The Pats hosted Block Island School on Wednesday afternoon, but the results were not available at press time. Pilgrim will be hitting the road to take on St. Ray’s in a championship rematch on Friday afternoon.