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.

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