Pelham boys, girls win tight one-goal games, advance to quarterfinals

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, May 4, 2022

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

For the second year in a row, the Pelham boys and girls soccer teams both earned a spot in the quarterfinal round of the Class 6A playoffs thanks to thrilling one-goal wins on Tuesday, May 3.

Both were forced to rely on their defensive skills to hold on down the stretch, as the girls took down McAdory 1-0 and the boys fended off Northridge 2-1.

Back on their home field, the girls got a boost early in the matchup with the Yellow Jackets, as the defense took advantage and started what became a relentless effort throughout the night.

That allowed the offense to not have to take chance and be patient until the right opportunity presented itself.

That opportunity came with 7:37 left in the opening half when McAdory tried to clear a ball out, but instead turned it over.

Waiting for it was senior Ashley Jimenez, who quickly found the back of the net after getting a cross that went off her foot and then deflected off the cross bar and straight down into the net.

That put Pelham on top 1-0 just before the halftime break, and that’s all the Panthers needed.

From there, they relied on their defense that was playing confident fresh off a shutout in the opening round of the playoffs.

With that comfort in their defense, the Panthers were poised the rest of the way and fended off every attack McAdory countered with in the second half to give Pelham a 1-0 victory.

For the second year in a row, Pelham will now take on Northridge in the quarterfinals for a spot in the Final Four. Last year, the Panthers lost a heartbreaking 2-1 game, so they’ll be hoping for redemption this year.

As for the boys, they were able to go on the road and take down Northridge in a hard-fought battle.

Pelham got two goals from Kevin Garcia-Hernandez in the win, while Alejandro Hernandez and Eusabio Hernandez both had assists.

With the win, the Panthers earned a spot in the quarterfinals for the third postseason in a row.

The No. 3 team in Class 6A, they’re now 21-3-1 on the season and have given up one goal or less in 12 consecutive wins.

The boys will now host rival Helena for the second year in a row with a spot in the Final Four on the line.