By ALEX SPONSELLER The Pilgrim girls soccer team was one of the biggest surprises last fall when it reached the state championship game against La Salle after moving up from Division II. Although the Lady Pats have lost some key pieces to their team last
By ALEX SPONSELLER The Pilgrim girls soccer team was one of the biggest surprises last fall when it reached the state championship game against La Salle after moving up from Division II.
Although the Lady Pats have lost some key pieces to their team last season, they return a handful of others and will be introducing some new young faces to the mix this fall.
Pilgrim looks to once again be in the title hunt and is confident in the core and depth coming back this season.
“We lost a few starters from last year but also return a few starters. We’ve had some young girls step up to fill some roles and other girls rise to the challenge in earning starting spots, competing for those positions,” said Pilgrim coach Tom Flanders.
The team has looked sharp in the preseason and rolled past Mt. Hope 4-0 in last week’s Injury Fund exhibition.
Senior Alanna Coffie led Pilgrim with two goals while Sarah Lynch and Amelia Murphy each added goals of their own to earn the shutout victory.
Making a deep run and emerging as a true Division I power last fall has given the team some momentum this year, according to Flanders.
“Last year was fantastic, we had a great run. It was a tremendous season coming up from Division II and playing La Salle in the championship. It was great to see the girls accept the challenge and now a lot of these girls know what success feels like and want more of it. We’ll be in that mode,” Flanders said.
With so many familiar faces in the mix, Flanders and his staff are confident and comfortable with the players and expect them to continue playing the brand of soccer in which they have for the past few seasons.
“Some years you’re a coach, others you’re a facilitator. This year I am facilitating these ideas and concepts that we have already put into their heads. Oftentimes players know what to do but need that friendly reminder of how to do it right. That’s where I am,” said Flanders. “We’ve been through many battles together, tons of games, have scored tons of goals. I’ve been coaching many of these girls since they were 6 years old. They’re ready to go.”