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Posted July 7, 2005
South Boston Soccer "Babes" Wrap Up Season in Maine
By Joe Kelly

     After winning the South Shore League with a 5-2-1 record coach Billy Linehan wanted to leave the young ladies of the 14 and under travel soccer team with a positive experience and memory of their South Boston Youth Soccer League careers, to put it plainly, mission accomplished! Billy and assistant coach Bernie O'Donnell put a ton of work and planning into a great father's day weekend of soccer at the Coastal Summer Challenge Tournament at Bowdoin College in Brunswick Maine.

     Arriving on Friday evening the team had a fun walk across a two-mile bridge and back to have a team dinner. After a night of rest the girls played a double header on Saturday dropping a close 3-0 game to the Essex Shooting Stars. Brooke Linehan played superb in goal making some clutch saves and clearing the ball with some tremendous kicks. The defensive unit of Blake Linehan, Brenna Walsh and Christine Kelly helped keep the score close. The Shooting stars defense played well against Southie's determined attackers of Cailin Pagel, Miranda Mahoney and Kristyn Calla.

     After a three-hour break the "Babes" were right back at it taking on the Rutland County girls. Showing a bit more energy in the first half the girls hung tough behind Cailin Pagel's outstanding goalkeeping in a very physical game. Hannah O'Donnell and Jessica Nagle played well in the middle and Brittany Barrett and Bridget Yetman led the defense. Southie netted their first goal of the tournament when Laura O'Donnell beat the defense to the ball and snuck it by on the left side to cut the lead to 2 to 1. She was set up by a huge kick by Kaity O'Brien and a deflection to the middle by Holly Provenzano. In the second half Southie tired a bit in the heat and dropped the contest 5 to 1.

     With their heads held high the girls headed off to a local fair for some fun and back to the hotel for a late night pizza party. You have to remember there is to Land of Pizza up there and as coach Linehan stated "it took the resiliency of the chaperones to put it together!"

     On Sunday the Southie "Babes" were ready and came out on fire against the Southern Maine Premier team. With the sun beating down the girls intensity grew as Cailin and Miranda forced the offensive play. In the opening six minutes Brooke made three great saves to keep the game scoreless. Cousin Blake, looking like Pele, made the play of the weekend heading a shot over the crossbar from the goal line that got past everyone and was a certain goal for SMP. Their confidence grew with the save and Laura O'Donnell was able to kick one in after some hard nosed play in front by Kara Nagle. Shortly there after Kaity O'Brien scored two goals the first a nifty kick off a throw in by Blake. SMP fought back to cut the score to 3 to 2 but Miranda Mahoney, off a feed from Holly, tallied a late goal to seal the win. It was doubtful that Holly would even play on Sunday after she pulled a hamstring muscle Saturday but the team's sparkplug led the team in shots on goal and was a presence all over the field.

     The second game on Sunday was a defeat to the undefeated tournament champs Far Post Premier. The game was played one hour after the previous game and coach Linehan asked them for 10 minutes of all out play, that they did keeping the game scoreless until they ran out of gas in the intense heat.

     It was a great weekend of soccer and friendship for the girls that will not soon be forgotten as most head off to high school next year to give their best effort at a new level.

     The team is Brooke Linehan, Blake Linehan, Bridget Yetman, Hannah O'Donnell, Laura O'Donnell, Jessica Nagle, Christine Kelly, Miranda Mahoney, Cailin Pagel, Kara Nagle, Kristyn Calla, Brenna Walsh, Brittany Barrett, Kaity O'Brien and Holly Provenzano.

      The girls would like to thank coaches Billy Linehan and Bernie O'Donnell for giving so much of their time to them the past four years. Coach Linehan and the team want to give a huge thank you to Tommy Butler at Massport for the bus that allowed this venture to be a true team trip. Thank you also to the Quiet Man Pub, Richie Linehan, Leo Stapleton, Joe Higgins, Councilor Jim Kelly, Clerk Mike Donovan, all the parents ("coach" Dave Nagle) who assisted all year and of course the South Boston community for contributing to the girls' fundraiser.

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