After an hour long bus ride to Haverhill, the Spy Ponders were met by an abundance of torrential rain. Even though the field was drenched, the Spy Ponders’ spirit was anything but dampened.
Arlington came into the game with firepower and passion. Matched up against the Pentucket Sachems, the number four seed in the Division Two state tournament, the Ponders were the underdogs on paper. However, they defied the odds and posted a decisive 5-2 victory.
Chris Hamblin started the action with a header goal early in the game, using the back of his head to propel the ball past the goalie. Hamblin then added a second score, sending a rocket past a mystified keeper.
Senior Captain Nick Coleman, the leading goal scorer on the team, made the score 3-0 with a follow off of a ricochet. After a successful Pentucket penalty kick, Coleman made the score 4-1 with an arching left-footed kick over the Sachems’ backpedaling goalie.
Coleman made a split-second decision and floated the ball into the air toward the goal. The keeper staggered backward, nearly making a recovery. He did not get there in time, however, and the Ponders augmented their lead to 4-1.
Just a few minutes later, Fernando Cuervo-Torello tacked on one more goal for Arlington, finding the back of the net thanks to a Yannick Doyle attack that got the Sachem defense out of position.
“It was probably one of the best games that we’ve had this year,” said Coleman. “We’ve been facing teams of (Pentucket’s) caliber the entire season, but last night we stepped up and just played our game.”
When the final whistle sounded, some of the players slid head-first onto the soggy turf. The Ponders then acknowledged the devoted, rowdy fans who made the commute by doing a cohesive victory run toward the stands.
AHS managed to overcome the weather and preserve a 5-2 score until the end of the eighty minute time frame.
“The conditions (both the situation and weather) got us pumped up,” said Nathan Lobel. “It was a good moment. We did what we had to do.”
After taking care of business on Sunday and Monday with two clutch wins, the Ponders will face Malden Catholic at home at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday November 11th.
The Ponders are already in the quarterfinals and are looking to prolong their dramatic run. Had Arlington not defeated Bedford and Weston in the final two games of the regular season, or beat Lynn Classical in penalty kicks (5-4) in a thrilling finish on Sunday, this game would not have occurred.
With four consecutive do or die games, the Ponders have answered the call in every contest. Each win brings this determined team one step closer to the ultimate prize…the Division Two state championship.