I think in the last two weeks that the Pelham Python boys’ lacrosse team has finally figured out that coach Matt Regan definitely knows what he’s talking about, and what it’s going to take for this team to win three games in the Division III tournament and come away with a state title. If this team sticks to the plan that Regan and assistant coaches Mark O’Brien and Vinny Canniazzaro have mapped out, they will definitely defeat the winner of the Kennett/Derryfield game this Wednesday, June 3, at 5 p.m. The Pythons whitewashed the Kennett Golden Eagles here just three weeks ago 9-zip, and they beat a very good 12-4 Derryfield team 9-4 in the regular season. Coach Regan has a very good mix of seniors and underclassmen on this year’s team, plus he has what this sportswriter thinks is the premier goaltender in senior Andrew Keegan.
Regan and his troops know what it’s going to be like going against number one ranked Monadnock because they hosted the Huskies a few weeks back and played them very tough before dropping a 10-7 decision. The team also played Division I Salem in a game a week and half ago and know what it’s going to take to out-tough their opponents. When the Pelham boys beat either Kennett or Derryfield this Wednesday night (and it will no doubt be Derryfield), they will be heading to the Division III semi-finals Saturday night June 6 against either Gilford or number one Monadnock at either 5 or 7 p.m. at Stellos Stadium in Nashua. After seeing the way they’ve been playing the passed two weeks, I certainly like their chances. I think that the hard-work ethic like Andrew Keegan possesses is passed down through his teammates, after playing linebacker for the football team who has posted two consecutive Division V championships, and have now won 22 games in a row. Look for all-star performances from seniors Mike Woonton, C. J. Ziogas, R. J. Riddinger, Nick Barrett, Sean Paradis, and Tom O’Brien to go along with some inspired play from underclassmen like Alec Paradis, Richie Sullivan, Brandon Skinner, Nick Morin, and others. I would not be the least surprised to see this Pelham boys lacrosse team go to the finals on Tuesday, June 9, at 7 p.m. against Kearsarge in their first ever playoff appearance in lacrosse, and I think their goalie, Andrew Keegan will lead the way!
The Pythons girls’ lacrosse team got 16 of their young players together last Saturday morning to head over to Salem to take on the Division I Blue Devils in a non-conference game. First-year coach Brittany Caron definitely wanted to play this game, (which was originally scheduled to be played last Wednesday afternoon), because she’s excited about all the underclassmen that she has coming back next spring. She also wanted to get this Salem game in so she could see just how far the team has come along in the last month. Coach Caron didn’t have to wait too long Saturday morning to see if her girls were hungry because after Salem’s Lauren Santo only needed 50 seconds to get the Blue Devils on the scoreboard, Pelham junior Sarah DeBaldo bolted in front of the Salem goal and was given a penalty shot, which she converted to tie it up at 1-1. A minute later Pelham senior Kellie Chadwick picked up a rebound out in front of the Salem goal and zipped one in to put Pelham up 2-1, but Salem’s Taylor Righini came right back down the field and scored to knot it up at 2-2 with 21 minutes left in the first half. The Pythons held their last lead of the game with 20:32 left in the half when Pelham’s sophomore Alex Catalano put on a coast-to-coast rush down the field and single-handedly went in and scored to put Pelham up 3-2. In the next 10 minutes, coach Faith Wahlen’s Blue Devils would go a 6-0 scoring run on two goals apiece from Lauren Santo and Taylor Righini and one by senior Sarah Viehl and freshman Jersey Burns, to take an 8-3 lead and it could have been more if it hadn’t been for several super saves by Pelham’s freshman goalie, Jen Peet. With 8:38 left in the first half, Sarah DeBaldo scored her second goal of the game to make it an 8-4 game, and with 2:38 left Alex Catalano made it 8-5 with her second goal of the game. Salem then ripped off two more goals by Aja Metcalf and Jersey Burns before halftime to take a 10-5 lead at the break, as girls like Emily Cook, had their best game of the season and sophomore goalie, Lauren Mazzoleni was coming up with big saves to keep her Blue Devil team out in front.
Coach Brittany Caron started off the season as assistant coach, but moved into the head coaching slot when Bruce Brown had to step down for health related issues mid-way through the season. Caron, a former Goffstown star who is currently finishing her college degree at Northeastern University would get out there and scrimmage with her girls and was very excited in coaching this team down the stretch. Caron said, “I see the way these girls came around in our final seven games against undefeated Hollis/Brookline twice, Kearsarge, Oyster River, and two Division I teams like Salem and Nashua North, and I wonder what other Division III team had a schedule anywhere near as tough as ours. I know that we are going to miss seniors like Brittany Long and Kellie Chadwick who stuck with this group down the stretch, Devon Lamoureux, who was one of our leading scorers, and several other seniors, but I know that we will be much improved next year with all the young talent that we have coming back. Alex Catalano is tough to stop from scoring, as is Sarah DeBaldo, Keri Foley, and Kally Riddinger and all of those girls will be returning plus many others. We’ll be seeing the playoffs next spring for the first time since Pelham High made girls lacrosse a sport six years ago.”
11-0 Pythons Win State Title over Gilford - 2007 State Division V Football Champions
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