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Cheltenham blasts into the season, puts up 7 in shutout win
Cheltenham boy's soccer team brushed off concerns that the losses of Senior midfielder Max Brown (Mary Washington University) and goalie Justin Grady (George Washington University) would have lingering effects with a convincing win 7-0 over George Washington High (0-1-0) in the season opener for each team.
The Panthers (1-0-0) took control early with Sophomore Nate Quigley stepping up and banging in the first goal only 8 minutes into the game after a mad scramble in the box. Quickly followed by two goals in 3 minutes - a 15th minute free kick from Senior Findlay Peet that curled in over the Washington goalie, and a tap header inside the 6 by Junior Jack Klebanoff off of a Peet cross. Two own-goals, and scores by Senior Sam Liss and Sophomore Paolo Musumeci rounded out the 7-0 win.
"I couldn't be happier with the way we played today," Cheltenham coach Bill Tonkin said after the game. "We opened up strong right from the opening whistle and took the game to them. Washington had two strong players in the midfield but to our defense's credit, we prevented any real dangerous shots, but they effectively kept us off the board that second half." Tonkin has high expectations for this Senior-laden team as he feels that "this team is stronger overall than last year. We have a deeper bench and I'm expecting our Seniors to really rise to the level that I believe they can play."
Tonkin's Cheltenham Panthers have another non-league game Tuesday at 3:30 when New Foundation Charter visits Cheltenham, while coach Chris Reid's Washington Eagles host MAST Charter.