After seven years of ALS Cup dominance, the Pentucket boy’ soccer team came to War Memorial Stadium in Newburyport Saturday afternoon and took the Cup right back home after beating the Clippers in a hard-fought contest, 2-1.
“This is the biggest game of the season for the guys,” said Sachems coach Christian Langlois. “This has become more than a one-game entity. The guys just love this game so much. It’s like we’re playing for the pride of the area, and it really has renewed the Pentucket/Newburyport rivalry.”
That rivalry simply makes both teams better, and after trailing all the way through the 10th annual ALS Cup, the Clippers took the lead in the first 10 minutes of the 11th annual tilt when Adam Traxler hit a corner kick that sailed over Sachems goalie Logan Sherwood’s head.
“We had the ball in their end for the first 15 to 20 minutes, it felt like,” said Langlois. “And then they were up, 1-0. It seemed to me that they had barely gotten the ball beyond the midfield. But that can happen. That is just the way that the game goes.”
Langlois’ boys regrouped and answered right back with 11 minutes left in the first half on a goal from Connor Beaton that slipped past Clippers goalie Shudee Wu’s right side.
The second half saw the Clippers controlling the game handily and pressuring new Sachems goalie Cody Sedler. But slowly and surely, the Sachem offense began making incursions into Newburyport territory. With 15 minutes left to play, Mike Salmonsen drew a corner kick of his own, allowing Sean Keegan the chance to bury past Wu’s left side to give Pentucket the lead for the first time in the contest. It also sent the Cup back to West Newbury where it has taken up a semi-permanent residence.