When it took the field on Thursday, the Pilgrim boys’ soccer team was coming off two of its best performances of the season. The Pats lost by just a goal to undefeated Classical, and they tied Mt. Hope.
Unfortunately for the Pats, the trend did not continue.
Moses Brown scored two goals in the first 13 minutes of the game and added two more just after halftime. The Pats could never seem to get in gear and fell 4-0 to drop to 2-8-2 on the season.
“That’s what we are,” said Pilgrim head coach Bill Carroll. “Unless we get to the ball first and put the effort in, we’re not going to achieve anything. Today, we didn’t get to the ball first and we didn’t win the ball. We got what we’ve been getting if we don’t do what we have to do.”
Carroll was hoping the Pats would keep following the right formula. On Oct. 11, they lost 2-1 to Classical, a team that hadn’t played a one-goal game since mid-September. Last Monday, the Pats played Mt. Hope to a 1-1 draw that could have easily been a victory.
“They played very well against Classical,” Carroll said. “They played tremendous, and they played tremendous against Mt. Hope. We missed a penalty in the last few minutes – we could have won it. But they worked hard in those games.”
On Thursday, the Pats took a step back.
Moses Brown took a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute when Jonathan Sigal placed a free kick into the box, where an open Griffin Adler buried a shot.
The Quakers controlled the action from there and made it 2-0 just six minutes later. After winning the ball on a Pilgrim goal kick, Jason Foster got a look from just outside the box and lofted a shot into the net.
Just like that, the Pats had their backs against the wall, and they could never fight their way out. Matt Christy headed a shot wide in the 26th minute and David Saran missed on a free kick a minute later. Apart from those, the Pats had few first-half chances.
It was more of the same in the second half, as the Pats got buried again. Moses Brown’s Aaron Seltzer took a short pass in the middle, turned and ripped a shot into the back of the net just eight minutes into the second half. Six minutes later, the Quakers struck one more time as Cory Lewis chased down a long through ball and chipped got past a charging Liam Strain for an easy shot.
The Pats had a few looks over the final 25 minutes but couldn’t convert. They finished with only three shots on net.
“They performed well in the last few games, put the effort in and got to the balls,” Carroll said. “I told them, ‘That’s all you have to do to be competitive.’ They know they don’t have as much talent as the rest of the teams, but they can be competitive and be in games. They weren’t today.”
The result made Pilgrim’s playoff quest tougher. The Pats were scheduled to play 5-4-4 Middletown on Monday before finishing the season against 9-2-2 Lincoln on Friday. Heading into Monday’s game, the Pats were two points out of the 12th and final playoff spot in Division II.