The 2021 ALS Cup

(Photo Source: McClelland Miscellanea)

(Photo Source: McClelland Miscellanea)

Emma Breen, Writer

Saturday, October 16th, the infamous ALS Cup returned yet again, and anticipation was high. Pentucket’s girls’ and boys’ varsity soccer teams had been preparing for this event all season and were eager to take the field. The girls kicked off at 5 pm, followed by the boys at 7 pm.  The Pentucket girl’s varsity had a CAL record of 6-2-1 and an overall record of 9-2-2. The Pentucket boy’s CAL record was  4-3-2 and their overall record is 4-5-2. The boys were defending the cup, while the girls were looking to win it back. The last ALS Cup was in 2019, as there was no game last year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Lou Gehrig’s Disease is a horrendous degenerative disease that affects about 5,000 people a year. No one has ever survived ALS and it is a devastating disease. In 2002, Newburyport former coach Dave Greenblott started the ALS Cup, a soccer game between Pentucket and Newburyport where proceeds go directly to the ALS Foundation. A rivalry game of Pentucket and Newburyport was sure to bring in a crowd- and the fundraiser took off from there. For the last 19 years, the ALS Cup has brought in thousands of dollars and has been the soccer event of the year. 

When it comes to game attendance, the ALS Cup student section is larger than any regular-season game, and everyone can really feel the support and school spirit. The boy’s game has a noticeably larger fan section than the girl’s game, and when you take a closer look, it is quite mind-boggling. The girl’s team currently has a better CAL and overall record than the boy’s team, and has already qualified for the post-season tournament. The girl’s team always plays first and the boy’s team follows. Time has been a common argument when students were asked why they did not attend both games. The girls in previous years have played earlier in the day so more people came to the boy’s game solely because it was more convenient, this year however the games are in the evening, still, students are still talking about only attending the boy’s game. Why? The answer is simple, male sports tend to grab more of an audience because girls’ sports arent “as intense” or “as difficult.”

As a player on the girl’s soccer team, it can be quite frustrating to hear fellow classmates speak in such ways, hearing that no one cares about girl’s soccer when both teams work extremely hard to win. The boy’s team is extremely hard working and they play well as a team… but so do the girls. 

The games on Saturday were super intense and there was a lot of tension between both teams. Both Pentucket and Newburyport were hungry to win and put up a fight. The girls went down 1-0 first half due to a penalty shot by Dierde McIlhinney. The rest of the game was a fight for both teams, Newburyport desperately looking to score again and Pentucket looking to tie up the score. The game ended with the score stagnant at 1-0 leaving Newburyport the winners of the cup. 

The boys immediately followed the girls and it was no walk in the park. Newburyport boys were undefeated at 13-0 and walked into the game thinking this was just another game where they would come out on top, they were mistaken. The boys played hard all game and kept the score at 0-0. The game went into the CAL record as a tie so Newburyport is still technically undefeated but the ALS Cup was still up for grabs. The game went directly into penalty shots, both teams sent out their players to hopefully bring them one step closer to the cup. Pentucket won 9-8 with an incredible diving save from Tyler Correnti. Goals for Pentucket were socred by Tyler Correnti, Liam Sullivan, Alex Bishop, Max Markuns, Will Roberts, Stratton Seymour, Zach Rosario, Trevor Kamuda, and Gavin Dollas. The boys continue to defend their title as ALS Cup Champions. 

Both teams worked extremely hard and Pentucket should be proud of how everyone played. The girl’s team is fired up and is ready to redeem themselves next year and the boys are definitely looking to defend their title. The ALS Cup is a huge event for girls and boys soccer and I encourage everyone to reflect on how they support our teams and if they are showing support to both teams.