Friday, October 30, 2009

Bridgton Takes Battle of Unbeatens

Wednesday afternoon’s game was a match up of two of the best squads in the NEPSAC as the undefeated South Kent Cardinals (11-0-1) took on the undefeated Bridgton Academy Wolverines (11-0-1) in South Kent, Connecticut.

After a six and a half hour bus ride the Wolverines took the field to less than ideal conditions, as the field was completely soaked and the rain was not letting up. It would take a strong start by the Cardinals including a penalty kick opportunity, for the Wolverines to get into a groove. In the 25th minute South Kent was awarded a penalty kick, battling the muddy conditions in goal, Ryne Tillman (Bedford, MA) was able to stop the shot and start the offensive attack. Dillon Flynn (Chapel Hill, NC) was then able to feed Rob Palumbo (Kingston, NH), in transition, who found the back of the net for the first goal of the game.

The Cardinals, however, would not go away as they answered back just seven minutes later to even the score at 1-1. Just before the half in the 42nd minute the Wolverines would get a penalty kick opportunity of their own. Steve Palumbo (Kingston, NH) took the kick and deposited the ball in the right hand corner after a deflection by the keeper, to take a 2-1 advantage into the half.

“The weather was a major factor in the game, with puddles and mud on the field stopping the ball,” said Coach Kevin Mellon. “Both teams adjusted well to the conditions, but it would have been a different match with good conditions.”

In the fifth minute of the second half Steve Palumbo would find the back of the net one more time to extend the lead to 3-1. That is where it would stay, as the two squads played to a draw the final 40 minutes of the contest.

Coach Mellon gave a large amount of credit for the win to his keeper, Ryne Tillman, saying, “Ryne kept us in the game, by making some point blank saves. He played his best game of the season, coming off of the line when he needed to and making all the right decisions.”

“I don’t think that was the best game we have played all year, and I think that South Kent is better than what they showed. I look forward to facing them down the road, and under good conditions,” added Mellon.

The Wolverines held a slight advantage in shots at 17-14. With the win Bridgton improves to 10-0-1 in NEPSAC play and 12-0-1 overall. The Cardinals fall to 11-1-1.
Bridgton will close out its regular season schedule next week was they travel to take on Hebron Academy on Wednesday November, 4th and Phillips Exeter Academy on Saturday November, 7th.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wolverines Take Back Traditions Cup

Bridgton Academy Soccer has reclaimed the Traditions Cup; after years of being in Winchendon School's possession, the annual trophy, given to the winner of the season series, is back in North Bridgton.

The Wolverines defeated Winchendon 5-2, to sweep the season series, 2-0. The Wolverines have now won ten consecutive matches, and improve their record to 11-0-1. Bridgton allowed two goals for the first time in seven contests and just the third time all season.

Ethan Martin (South Burlington, VT) was a part of every goal, as he collected nine points on the day. Martin tallied four goals and a helper. Ronaldo Vieira (Framingham, MA) tacked on the other goal while also picking up an assist. Omar Khartabil (Hampstead, NH) assisted on two of Martin’s goals, while Rob Palumbo (Kingston, NH) chipped in one assist.

Bridgton, now looks ahead to a match up with South Kent School, who is one of the top teams in the NEPSAC this season. The match will be October, 28th at 3:30 PM in South Kent, Connecticut.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Watch Today's Match Online

Today's match can be viewed online through South Kent School's live streaming broadcast. The following link will provide full coverage:

Game time is 3:30 PM

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

BA Reaches 10 Wins

The Bridgton Academy Wolverines reached double digit wins for the first time under second year head coach Kevin Mellon. The Wolverines defeated Tilton School, 8-0 to improve their record to 10-0-1.

Bridgton got the scoring going early on, in the 4th minute Dillon Flynn (Chapel Hill, NC took a feed from Rob Palumbo (Kingston, NH) and found the back of the net. Ten minutes later Flynn would return the favor to make it 2-0. Bridgton played what Jamie White (New Orleans, LA) called, "lock down defense, not allowing a shot." The Wolverines would push the lead to 6-0 at the half on goals from Omar Khartabil (Hampstead, NH), Steve Palumbo (Kingston, NH), Ronaldo Vieira (Framingham, MA) and Ethan Martin (South Burlington, VT).

Coach Mellon was very impressed with the way his team competed, and possessed the ball, holding it for 80% of the game. "We played at a faster pace than normal, which is going to help us going into the remaining games."

In the second half the Black and Gray scored two early goals, in the 47th and 48th minutes by Martin and Steve Palumbo respectively. From that point on the Wolverines possessed the ball and controlled tempo.

On the season Bridgton has outscored opponents 70-9, and in the last six matches have outscored opponents 50-3.

BA next travels to Winchendon on Friday October, 23 at 3:30 PM. The Wolverines defeated Winchendon earlier in the season 6-1, and look to continue with their dominating performances.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rob Palumbo Named Athlete of The Month

There was a time when Bridgton Academy soccer was a familiar name in the New England Prep School Class A playoffs each year. The team reached the final four in back to back years in ’04 and ’05 and looked poised to take the next step and hoist a championship banner. With several coaching changes, the program slipped a little but this year’s Wolverine soccer team looks like it may the one to return to the upper echelon of New England Prep School soccer. At the front and center of the team is this month’s Athlete of The Month, Rob Palumbo.

Forget the fact that he scored 30% of the goals for the team that went 7-0-1 for the month. The manner in which he did it was the real story. In the season opener against Bowdoin College, he tallied a hat trick to lead the team to a 4-0 victory. He repeated the task 2 more times, once against Navy Prep and again against Bowdoin College. His 10 goals left him 1 behind the team lead for the month and his 25 points was second as well.

His real impact was felt in his playmaking ability. His play simply lifts his teammates to a higher plane. On any given day, you will hear in the crowd, “Did you just see what he did with the ball?!” after he has set his teammates up for an easy score. His teammates have responded by dominating the competition for the month.

The theme of “This Is Sparta” for our Athlete of The Month award this year has never been more evident in Rob’s play. While you win or lose as a team, each team needs effective leadership. Rob’s play and leadership for the month have earned him the inaugural Athlete of The Month award for the 2009-2010 school year.

Bridgton Downs Phoenix 9-0

Bridgton Academy took down its second consecutive MAISAD opponent, Hyde School, 9-0 on Saturday. The Wolverines outshot the Phoenix 20-4.

The Wolverines were able to jump out to an early 2-0 lead on the first ten minutes, thanks to two Rob Palumbo (Kingson, NH) goals. The Black and Gray would not let up as they went on to score four more goals in the half to take a commanding 6-0 lead into the half.

In the second half Bridgton continued to pressure Hyde, and were able to find the back of the net three more times. "In the second half we were more patient, and waited for opportunities," said Coach Mellon. "The team is really coming together, we have gotten into a groove of late and played well."

Ryne Tillman (Medford, MA) stopped all four shots he faced, for his fourth shutout of the year.

Rob Palumbo finished the game with two goals and two assists. Dillon Flynn (Chapel Hill, NC) collected three assists and one goal, Ronaldo Vieira (Framingham, MA) had two goals. Ethan Martin (South Burlington, VT) scored twice and had one assist, Steve Palumbo (Kingston, NH) scored once and assisted on two other goals.

The Wolverines next face Tilton School on Wednesday October, 14. "Tilton will be a tough match, they played Winchendon close and it will let us know where we are," Mellon added.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Steve Palumbo's Hat Trick Leads BA

The Bridgton Academy Wolverines defeated the Kents Hill Huskies 7-1, on Wednesday afternoon. All the scoring would take place in the second half as the two teams played to a 0-0 draw in the opening half. Bridgton was not without scoring opportunities as the hosts were out shot 13-2 in the first half.

Captain Omar Khartabil (Hampstead, NH) called the first half of the game a, "wake up call." Tied 0-0 and unable to convert on multiple opportunities the Wolverines in the second half, "Came together, and dominated," according to Khartabil. Steve Palumbo (Kingston, NH) got the scoring started with an unassisted goal in the 65th minute, coming off of a quick counter to a Kents Hill direct kick. Kents Hill would answer back five minutes later to even the score at 1-1. The Wolverines responded with six unanswered goals. Palumbo scored two minutes after Kents Hill scored for the eventual game winner, Khartabil collected the assist. Ethan Martin (South Burlington, VT) scored in the 76th and 83rd minute. Khartabil scored in the 80th minute and brothers Steve and Rob Palumbo (Kingston, NH) scored back to back goals to end the game making the final score 7-1.

Steve Palumbo ended the day with a hat trick, including the game winner, and an assist. Martin had two goals, his fifth consecutive game with two or more goals. Khartabil collected a goal and an assist.

Once again Bridgton had a slow start, however they did not have to be scored on first, this time, to answer the bell. Coach Mellon said, "It took some adjusting for my players to get used to the turf and be able to read the ball, but once that occurred we were able to convert."

The Black and Gray face their second MAISAD school in two games as they host the Hyde School on Saturday at 3:30 PM.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Martin, Wolverines Dominate Holderness

Ethan Martin (South Burlington, VT) lead the Bridgton Academy Wolverines to a dominating performance over Holderness School, 10-0 on Parents' Weekend. Martin collected five goals to go along with three assists for 13 points on the day.

Ryne Tillman (Medford, MA) came up big in the early minutes to prevent his team from a deficit once again. The Wolverines would respond to Tillman's defense by scoring ten consecutive unanswered goals for the second time in two games. Nick Christensen got the scoring started with a header on a corner kick from Rob Palumbo (Kingston, NH). Palumbo then found the back of the net off of a ball played through by Martin. In the 30th minute Omar Khartabil (Hampstead, NH) made it 3-0 with an unassisted goal. Two minutes later Palumbo scored again with the assist once again going to Martin. Palumbo would return the favor in the 40th minute for Martin's first goal of the game, to enter the half up 5-0.

The second half was all Ethan Martin. Including the last two goals of the first half Martin played a part in the final seven goals of the game. In the 49th minute he assisted on Ronaldo Vieira's (Framingham, MA) goal. The next four goals were all scored by Martin with the first two assists going to Vieira, and unassisted goal and the final assist of the game went to Palumbo.

Bridgton out shot Holderness 19-5, Tillman collected five saves for his third shutout of the season. Martin finished with five goals and three assists, Palumbo had two goals and three assists and Vieira had a goal and two assists.

Bridgton has outscored its opponents 46-8 in 8 contests. Coach Mellon contributes alot of his teams success to Steve Palumbo (Kingston, NH) who, "opens up opportunities for others to get goals and get assists. He is one or two passes away from an assist, he draws defenders away from other players allowing them to get the looks."

Coming off of what Mellon called, "the best played game thus far, from beginning to end," the Wolverines will face back to back MAISAD opponents in Kents Hill, Wednesday and home against Hyde School at 3:30 on Saturday.

BA Downs Bowdoin JV for Second Time

For the second time on the season Bridgton Academy defeated Bowdoin College JV. The first meeting the Wolverines won 4-0, they came up with a 10-1 victory this time.

Bowdoin would jump out to an early lead, scoring in just the second minute of the game, but from that point on it was all Bridgton. After the initial goal by Bowdoin, Rob Palumbo (Kingston, NH) would play a part in the next four goals, alternating between goals, and assists. Palumbo's first goal came 30 seconds after Bowdoin scored. He then assisted Ethan Martin (South Burlington, VT), then scored on an assist from Dillon Flynn (Chapel Hill, NC). Palumbo returned the favor to Flynn in the 34th minute. Martin would close out the half with a goal to make the score 5-1 at the half.

The second half started much like the first ended with Paulmbo having a hand in the first four goals of the half. Scoring off of a Dillon Flynn assist in the 59th minute, assisting on an Ethan Martin score five minutes later. Bridgton also benefited from an own goal caused by a Rob Palumbo shot. The Palumbo to Martin combination connected one more time in the game to make the score 9-1. The scoring was capped of with Jamie White (New Orleans, LA) picking up his first points of the season with an assist to Omar Khartabil (Hampstead, NH).

Speaking of the game Coach Mellon said, "Once again we saw we were not prepared from the start, this is the second game in a row we have gotten down, it is something that needs to be addressed." Mellon was pleased with his teams ability to finish, "Ethan Martin is finishing like he can and Rob has bounced back to be very productive."

Rob Palumbo finished the day with three goals and four assists, Martin collected four goals, Khartabil and Flynn had a goal and an assist each. Ronaldo Vieira (Framingham, MA) and White each had a helper.