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Arsenal have big weekend to remain in the title hunt

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The East Windsor PAL U12 Girls Arsenal recently faced the most challenging part of its season, having to play three games in four days.

First, the Arsenal had the difficult task of traveling to Monroe on Thursday evening for a match-up with the Monroe Township Purple Falcons, playing the game with no substitutes. It was a physical back and forth battle throughout with the final result a 3-3 draw.

Angelina Benitez had a goal and assisted on goals by Nishan Pannu and Rachael Charsky. Marcella Hirshman was an offensive threat on the wing while Megan Khazem held off the Monroe attack in the final minutes while playing under the weather.

Next up for the Arsenal was a home game on Friday late afternoon in record high temperatures vs. the Rumson Underdawgs. The Arsenal was trying to avenge its only loss of the season and essentially playing for first place in the division. They put forth a great effort and came away with a shutout 2-0 win.

Angelina Benitez opened the scoring with her 15th goal of the season and Lola Huang gave the Arsenal the insurance goal it needed in the second half. Charlotte Garcia and Tanya Aughenbaugh controlled the defensive line in front of goalkeeper Radha Ghate, who notched her fourth shutout of the season.

On Sunday, the Arsenal came right back for its final home game of the season vs. the Twin County Rage. After the big win on Friday, it took some time for the Arsenal players to kick it into gear, and they paid for it as Twin County dominated play in the first 10 minutes. Several defensive lapses and offensive miscues put the Arsenal against the wall as the Rage took a 1-0 lead. The team quickly regrouped, though, and grinded its way to a 2-1 victory.

The power of Rachael Charsky at center midfield and then at center fullback was too much for the Twin County defense to handle. Charsky scored both goals, first on an assist by right winger Anna Zappola and the second unassisted from more than 22 yards out while playing the center fullback position. Allie Szelag created many scoring opportunities with great ball distribution while Elise Price put offensive pressure on the Rage defensive in the second half.

The Arsenal have clinched a tie for first place in the MOSA National 1 Division and need one more point to claim sole possession and bring home another championship trophy to East Windsor.

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