Media Archive

PCHS beats Penquis; head to playoffs on hot streak

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 164, No. 42, October 16, 2002

By Ben Bragdon
Staff Writer

Observer Photo/ Ben Bragdon
BALL CONTROL - PCHS striker Harper Lee battles for the ball during Friday's game against Penquis in Milo. PCHS won the game 6-2 and has moved into first place in Eastern Maine Class C.

MILO – The PCHS boys soccer team used a second-half offensive outburst to blow by a tenacious Penquis
team, 6-2, Friday, showcasing the teamwork and crisp passing that have made them one of the premier teams in Class C this year.

Following a nice one-touch goal by Penquis of Milo's Justin Allen with 10 minutes gone in the second half, the score sat at 3-2 PCHS. Harnessing the excitement from Allen's goal, Penquis seemed to have taken a little momentum from the Pirates, who had been forcing the action most of the game.

But PCHS was quick to answer. Just over a minute later. Harper Lee took the ball down the right side of the field and crossed it beautifully to John Garrett-Young, who headed the ball into the goal in a textbook play, giving the Pirates a 4-2 advantage.

Then, just over a minute later, Ben Steams delivered a long, pinpoint pass through the air that teammate Chase Burdin headed to the back right comer of the net÷a shot that gave Burdin a hat-trick for the day. Ryan Bush would add a goal on a penalty kick with just under 19 minutes to go for the final of 6-2.

Burdin scored the first two PCHS goals, both in the first half. Garrett-Young trickled the Pirates' third goal
past charging Penquis goalie Kevin Nason at the start of the second half.

Alien scored both of the Patriot goals, including a penalty kick in the middle of the first half that knotted the score at 1-1. The Patriots and coach Rex Webb cap a fine regular season at 7-4-2. Ranked in the number four slot heading into the week, Penquis will continue their season in the playoffs.

PCHS coach Peter Nelson says the team's play Friday afternoon is indicative of the changes in team chemistry that have occurred over the course of the season.

Full of individual talent, the Pirates were prone to too much one-on-one play, with each of the team's stars taking it upon themselves to beat the opposing defense. So, early on the team was not as successful as it had envisioned in the preseason.

But along the way, the team recognized their weakness and began to play together. Since tying Penobscot Valley (PVHS) 1-1 on Sept. 25, the Pirates have gone 5 - 0, and last week's stellar play has pushed PCHS ahead of Penobscot Valley for the top spot in Class C Heal points.

Nelson credited steady leadership for breaking the team out of its season-starting rut. Garrett-Young, he says, has been a leader since the first day of practice. Harper Lee, whose hustle and sharp work with the ball were key to Friday's win, is a spark for the team from his spot on the wing. Nelson says Ben Steams, a halfback who doubles as a field general, plays an important role in controlling the game.

"He sees the whole field," says Nelson. "He does a great job placing the ball where it has to be."

PCHS has one more regular season game÷Oct. 17 against Schenck÷and then heads into the playoffs, and Nelson clearly has his team peaking at the right time.

"We've come over that hump," he says. "We changed up the offense and its just been working for us. Things are starting to click.

"It is two weeks until the playoffs, and we are looking forward to it. We are excited. These guys are excited."

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.