Helena breaks through Pelham backline for six-goal shutout win

Published 12:30 pm Friday, March 22, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

HELENA – In the first meeting of the season between the neighboring rivals, the Helena Huskies pulled away from the Pelham Panthers to earn a 6-0 win on Thursday, March 21 at Helena High School.

While the opening stretch of the match was scoreless, the Huskies broke through the Panthers defensive line late in the first half and rolled from there.

Much of that was thanks to Helena timing its runs well with its crosses, beating out Pelham’s defenders who were sitting back and converting many chances in the process.

Baileigh Rumage opened up the scoring in the 29th minute to put the hosts up 1-0. However, that wouldn’t be the last word of the half.

Just two minutes later, Kate Hendrix got a chance close up and sent a shot above the keeper into the top of the net for another Huskies goal.

While Helena had another solid run and chance five minutes later, it couldn’t convert and went into halftime with a 2-0 lead.

Just three minutes into the half, Pelham committed a foul in the box, awarding a penalty to the Huskies and giving Beery a chance to earn her second goal of the game.

She calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left corner of the net to convert the spot kick and put Helena up 3-0.

The Huskies struck again in the 52nd minute off a breakaway by Rumage to score her team’s fourth goal of the game.

As Helena coach Clif Naron gave his reserve players time on the field against Pelham, they impacted the game on the scoreboard.

Just two minutes after Rumage made it 4-0, freshman forward Saylor Peterson scored her first goal of the season and increased the lead to five.

Pelham went down a player after an altercation in the 69th minute led to a straight red card.

While the Panthers saved a close-up shot by Beery in the 73rd minute, the Huskies found the back of the net for the final time that evening just a minute later. Kate Hendrix took a one-two pass down low and scored to put the Huskies up 6-0.

Helena held on to the clean sheet after dealing with a near miss in the 79th minute as a Pelham direct free kick bounced off the Huskies keeper, who narrowly grabbed it to preserve the shutout win.

Hendrix finished the game with two goals and two assists off four shots, joining Beery as the two players with a brace. Rumage had three assists and a team-high six shots in addition to her goal, and Peterson rounded out the scoring.

Addyson Cook had three saves in 65 minutes, and Adyson Shelton earned a save during her 15 minutes in goal as neither Helena keeper allowed a goal.

The Huskies improved to 2-1 in the area while the Panthers dropped to 0-3 as each team has now played each area opponent once.

Both teams will be off until Tuesday, April 2 for spring break. Helena will travel to Pell City and Pelham will hit the road for Leeds that night with both matches scheduled for 5 p.m.