Sean Corrigan was playing tennis for Pelham High School six years ago, but last Wednesday he and his Pelham Python girls were celebrating his first win as a coach. After dropping their opener to Hollis-Brookline (who is currently at 4-0 and tied for first place with Portsmouth in the Class I standings), Pelham’s captain senior Meghan Szmyt promised a different result in Wednesday’s match against Monadnock. Szmyt said, “I was a little nervous for the first part of my number one singles match against Hollis, and I know that a couple of the other girls were too, but we’re going to come out strong against Monadnock and show them what we’re really made of.” Szmyt and her teammates did just that. Meghan opened the match by belting her opponent 8-1, and Shannon Krauss had a tougher time at number two singles but still fought off her foe 8-5 in a grueling contest. Taylor LaPointe was Pelham’s top girl by winning percentage last year but she ran into some tough competition and dropped an 8-3 battle. Jacky Ta was at her best late in her set and pulled out an 8-5 win at number four singles, and Janelle Gordon also loosened up after her first varsity loss and took her opponent to the tool shed with an 8-2 beating. Junior Nicole Mastacouris won her contest 8-2 at number six singles, and coach Corrigan was smiling like a cat with a Cheshire grin with the 5-1 lead that guaranteed them the win. Szmyt and Krauss romped 8-2 at number one doubles, and Jacky Ta and Taylor LaPointe won by the identical score at number two doubles, and Gordon and Mastacouris also were victorious by an 8-2 score to secure the 8-1 victory over the Monadnock Huskies.
The Pelham girls didn’t have the same kind of luck against the defending Class I champion Portsmouth Clippers last Friday, as they lost to the reigning champs on the road and presently have a 1-2 record, but they hope to get back over the .500 mark this week when they face Milford and unbeaten Souhegan on Friday.
This past Monday the Pythons entertained Nashua North, which is a Division 1 school, and the Titans took an 8-3 lead at the half before coming away with a 14-6 victory over the Pythons. Pelham coach Bruce Brown split the goaltending chores between freshman Jen Peet and senior Brittany Fadden and both came up with five saves apiece. Pelham senior Devon Lamoureux had two of Pelham’s goals in the first half and she ended up with three on the day. Senior Christine Downs tallied a first half goal, and Pelham got two other scores in the second half from Christine Morgan and Alex Catalano.
Last Friday afternoon coach Brown’s Python girls faced a very strong Merrimack Valley team and lost their second road game of the year 18-4. Pelham did not have senior Brittany Fadden available to play, so coach Brown gave freshman Jen Peet her first varsity start in goal. Peet would make eight saves in this game, but Merrimack Valley darted out to a 9-2 halftime cushion and stretched it to 18-4 in the second half. Sophomore attacker Alex Catalano netted two more goals, while Devon Lamoureux and Kally Riddinger scored the Pythons other two goals. The Pythons got some terrific performances from defensemen Gina Guimond and Brittany DiPrizio, and another solid all-around effort from Sarah DeBaldo.
The Pelham Python girls lacrosse team hit the road last Thursday in opening their Division III season with an 18-7 loss to the Bobcats up at Plymouth. Coach Bruce Brown liked the intensity that his Python girls started out with as Plymouth took an 8-4 lead by halftime and first year goalie Brittany Fadden made several outstanding saves to keep her team in the game. Fadden also received some tight defense in front of her from seniors Cassie Costello and Brittany Long, as they were responsible for keeping the Plymouth shots on net to a minimum. Kally Riddinger tallied Pelham’s first goal of the spring, and Devon Lamoureux, Alex Catalano, and Christine Downs followed up with first half scores. The Pythons cut into the 8-4 halftime lead when Riddinger scored her second goal of the game five minutes into the second half to make it an 8-5 game, and Lamoureux’ second goal of the contest made it a very tight 9-6 game, but the Bobcats were able to regroup in the final 15 minutes and run off eight late goals for the 18-7 victory. Midfielders Christine Downs and Sarah DeBaldo drew heaps of praise from coach Brown for their all-out hustle all over the field, and Brittany Fadden was able to make 14 saves in this game.
Actually, manager Matt Stone had a load of heroes to thank for Pelham’s first win of the year last Monday when they spotted Oyster River three unearned runs in the first inning and came away with an 8-3 victory. Senior pitcher Dave Wesson was one of the big stars as he tossed a six-hitter and whacked a triple and a single to get this team in the win column. Manager Matt Stone saw two first inning errors give Oyster River a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Josh Luciano and Corey Coulliard walked in the last of the first inning and James Moran’s single scored Luciano, making it a 3-1 game. Wesson settled down and got some plays made behind him over the next three innings, and in the last of the fourth inning Pelham cut the lead to 3-2 when Jesse Vaiknoras walked, went to second on a single by freshman catcher Evan Sage, and scored on a single by Luciano. The Pelham kids got two eye-opening plays from Sage in the top of the fifth inning. After a lead-off single, the Oyster River base runner thought he stole second on Evan Sage. That was a mistake. On the next pitch, the runner broke for second base and Sage threw “Frozen Rope” to shortstop Jesse Vaiknoras who slapped the tag on the kid for the first out. Now as if Oyster River hadn’t learned their lesson, the kid at bat hits an infield single two pitches later. Three pitches later he decides that he’s going to be a hero and steal second base, but Evan Sage tosses another perfect bee-bee down to Vaiknoras and he tags him out for the second out of the inning. Matt Stone and the Pythons were sky-high now and they came in to go after the lead.
Senior Joe Morin led off with a clutch double with one out and went to third on a passed ball. Wesson was at the plate and the Oyster River pitcher tossed another pitch to the backstop that allowed Morin to come racing across the plate with the tying run before Wesson crushed a long triple. Wesson was stranded on third, but he bore down on the Bobcat hitters in the sixth inning and set them down in order. Shortstop Jessie Vaiknoras led off the last of the sixth for Pelham and drew a walk. Evan Sage followed with a perfectly placed bunt single, and when Vaiknoras saw nobody covering third he went all the way from first to third, while Sage kept going to second base. Matt Stone is always watching the action on the field and knows the rules better than anyone, and when Oyster River’s third baseman kept the baseball and tried to pull the “Hidden Ball Trick” on Vaiknoras at third (with the Bobcat pitcher standing on the rubber), Stone went out and pointed it out to the home plate umpire, who signaled a balk, allowing Vaiknoras to score what turned out to be the winning run. Luciano and Coulliard both walked to load the bases, and Sage scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 5-3. Joe Morin walked and James Moran knocked in a run with an infield single and Pelham scored two more runs on wild pitches to nail down this 8-3 come-from-behind victory.
You can tell that spring has arrived because people were busy cleaning the fields at Muldoon Park. Every year, in anticipation of Little League Baseball season, Pelham residents gather to clean and prep the ball fields. It has become a rite of spring passage. Kids’ eyes light up as they watch the fields get their final spring grooming. This past weekend, all the fields were covered with people who were helping with the cleanup.
The Lady Bulldogs began their spring season in dominant fashion with a lopsided 5-0 win over the Hooksett Soccer Club. Pelham controlled the tempo of the game from the opening whistle and remained the aggressor throughout, giving Hooksett little opportunity to mount any evidence of an offensive attack. Pelham’s scoring was spread out among four girls led by Madison Medina who tallied two for the Bulldogs. Morgan Pinksten, Taylor Patterson, and Shannon Walsh each notched their first goals of the new season. Jessica Coakley turned in a strong performance setting up two goals with well-executed passes that penetrated the Hooksett defenders inside the 18-yard box.
The Lady Bulldogs are back in action at home (Muldoon Park) this Saturday, April 25, at 3 p.m. against a strong New Hampshire Classics team.
Pelham Travel Soccer Club will be conducting tryouts for the fall 2009 season on May 3 at 9:30 a.m. at Muldoon Park. Visit www.pelhamtravelsoccer.com for additional club and tryout information.
11-0 Pythons Win State Title over Gilford - 2007 State Division V Football Champions
Attention Parents. Is your child involved with Recreation or School sports? If so we would love to hear from you. We are currently looking for “Media Parents” to submit pictures/articles from home and/or away games in the Windham area. Please send your stories via E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Photo should be sent in a jpeg format. For more information contact Robin or Len at the Area News Group offices at 880-1516.