Patriots' offense off to historic start

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The Pilgrim girls soccer team topped Chariho 6-1 on Tuesday to extend its perfect record this fall to 9-0 and remain in first place in Division II.

Gillian Brown led the way with a hat trick for the Lady Pats while Alanna Coffie added two goals and Sarah Lynch another. Gillian Brown also recorded two assists while Coffie, Lynch, Lily Brown and Anna D’Angelo all chipped in one apiece. Pilgrim keeper Janelle Mixner racked up six stops in net.

Pilgrim was coming off of another impressive win, shutting out Ponaganset 4-0 the previous day.

Lily Brown scored two goals while Gillian Brown and Hannah French notched one score each. Mixner stopped six Ponaganset shots in the win.

“I’m very excited for the girls, we lost nine seniors last year so that is a lot of goals and production to make up, but the girls have really stepped up. They’ve worked hard in each and every game,” said Pilgrim coach Tom Flanders, who credited his offensive unit which has outscored opponents 45-4 this season. “Our front players, Lily Brown and Alanna Coffie, they have really stepped up big and have provided a lot of production. Even the games that they don’t produce, we have had some other girls step in. Gillian Brown, Dasani Stewart, Sarah Lynch, Gabby McGowan, they’ve all stepped up. We lost about 55, 60 goals from last year, so that’s a tremendous void to make up.”

The Lady Pats have been hungry since falling short in the Division II State Championship last season. Flanders has seen a motivated group of returners as well as an excited group of newcomers that is looking to contribute.

“We still have a few girls that were on that run last year and know how close they were to winning the whole thing. It didn’t happen, they certainly have that on their minds and they have a chip on their shoulders. The new kids, they have come in and just expected that this is how you do things, nothing is given to you and the older kids remind them of that. Winning can be taken away from you very easily,” said Flanders.

Although the Pats have jumped out to a perfect start, they are still focusing on improving each game and playing complementary soccer.

“Every game that we look at, there is always something that we can do better. Whether it is a decision that we made, a decision that the other team has made and then we have to play a certain system against them, we just need to play 60 minutes of Pilgrim soccer. We have a lot to work on,” said Flanders.

Pilgrim will face its toughest opponent to date when its hosts second-place East Providence on Friday. The Townies are too on a roll this season, bringing an 8-0-1 record to Warwick.

Friday’s match will be arguably the biggest game of the regular season for the Pats, but Flanders and company hope to continue to work hard, compete, and have fun.

“One thing about this year, is that I really have stressed to the girls the importance of enjoying the ride,” said Flanders. “Last year they got caught up in the deep run and I feel like they may not have fully enjoyed the season since they were so focused on winning each game. That is big this year, we really want them to enjoy themselves and appreciate the experience.”

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