Pelham boys start season 6-1

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

PELHAM – The 6A No. 3 ranked Pelham Panthers’ boys soccer team is off to a hot 6-1 start on their 2017 campaign. They have scored six-plus goals in three of those seven games, including 10 and 11 in two of those wins.

They had won five consecutive games after taking down McAdory, Hillcrest, Opelika, Hazel Green and Fort Payne to start the season before they took on the No. 2 ranked Homewood Patriots on Feb. 18. In a tightly contested match, Pelham fell to the Patriots by a final score of 1-0.

A few days later on Wednesday, Feb. 22, the Panthers had a chance to rebound and get back on the winning track before they take on No. 1 Cullman a day later, and they did just that.

In a home match with Sipsey Valley, Pelham put up 10 unanswered goals to win by the final of 10-0 and move to 6-1 on the young season.

More impressive than the final score, was that they had all but one of those goals in the first half as they started hot with four goals in the first 15 minutes of the game.

Yunior Tejada started the scoring early with a goal in the ninth minute that came off an assist from Brian Heredia. Just two minutes later in the 11th minute, Heredia picked up his second assist as he found a streaking Irvin Rodriguez for a goal to put the Panthers up 2-0.

In a continuing trend, just two minutes later again, Heredia picked up his third assist in four minutes by finding Adrian Arceo for another goal to put Pelham up 3-0.

Rodriguez picked up his second and third goal in the 15th and 21st minute to give him a hat trick on the night. Both goals came off assists from Edwuin Sostenes. His hat trick had Pelham up 5-0 in the first 21 minutes of the game.

The Panthers, however, kept their intensity level up as they posted four more goals in the first half to go up 9-0 at the break. Early in the second half, Kevin Rodriguez pushed a ball past the goalie to make it 10-0 and end the game at the 39:08 mark of the half.

In all, six different Pelham players scored on the night to give them a very balanced effort behind Rodriguez’s hat trick.