Archive - 2011 - Sports Article
Rick Pitino, sage that he is, shared this little anecdote at last monthâs Big East media day â one that illustrates the waves new Providence College head coach Ed Cooley is making on the recruiting trail.
âHeâs already attracting âŠ he beat us out on a player recruiting-wise,â said Pitino point blank, his eyes lighting up as if they were filled with fire. âI would have said, when it got to Providence and us [Louisville], he would have had no shot in getting this player, but Ed got him. So heâs already made an impact.â
Theyâve spent the past eight weeks working hard and overcoming some tough league opponents for the right to play in a meaningful game on Veteranâs Day weekend.
For neighboring schools Tolman, Cumberland, and St. Raphael, that weekend has finally arrived, and the meaningful games that they will participate in will be their quarterfinal-round games of the Division II playoffs.
PAWTUCKET â âThis game is going to be like âThe Thrilla In Manila,ââ La Salle Academy soccer coach Mario Pereira was saying on Tuesday night. âThis is going to be a classic âŠ two great teams trying to sort things out âŠ two teams with a lot of skilled players âŠ and kids on both sides who share an incredible passion for the game.â
Pereira was talking about Saturdayâs Division I state championship soccer game between his squad and Pawtucketâs Shea High. It is a heavyweight matchup between a private school and a public school, between the so-called rich kids and the city kids.
KINGSTON â For the first time in its long history, Cumberland will play for a state championship.
The Clippers earned a berth in Saturdayâs Division II championship match on Wednesday night by surviving a hard-fought 3-1 triumph over a Central Falls team that was determined to spring its second upset victory of the playoffs at URIâs Keaney Gymnasium.
Senior standouts Micaela Malboeuf (13 kills, 25 digs) and Michelle Malboeuf (11 kills, 20 digs) had big games for the Clippers, who defeated the Warriors by scored of 25-18, 25-19, 22-25, and 27-25 to advance.
âWith the benefit of hindsight, I wish I could have done more.â
â Joe Paterno
Who would have thought it would end this way for the legendary Penn State coach of 46 years? Paterno, the man of high moral values, the guy who once vowed not to retire and âleave college football to the Barry Switzers and Jackie Sherrillsâ of his coaching fraternity, had failed the biggest morality test of his life.
SOUTH KINGSTOWN â You know that Mount St. Charles-Coventry final that would have been billed as a matchup pitting one unbeaten squad versus another? Apparently Ponaganset didnât get the memo.
EAST GREENWICH â There are strength in numbers for sure on the soccer pitch, to which East Greenwich High will attest.
The Avengers consistently flooded the penalty box area with defenders, forming a protective cocoon that allowed goalie Oscar Goodwin to thrive while simultaneously left Tolman Highâs array of skill players singing the blues.
CRANSTON â Shea High shook free from a determined Cumberland team on Monday night at Cranston Stadium and advanced to the Division I state finals for the second straight season with a 3-0 victory over the Clippers.
The Raiders, who lost in the 2010 finals to Barrington, will meet top-ranked La Salle in Saturdayâs high noon showdown at Rhode Island Collegeâs pitch. The two teams tied 2-2 during their only regular season meeting.
CUMBERLAND â After shaking off some rust in the first game, Cumberland High went into playoff mode and is now just two bigs wins from the school's first-ever state championship.
Fueled by an outstanding night from junior Sam Bertherman and a solid all-around effort from her teammates, the third-seeded Clippers swept by No. 6 seed Tolman, 3-0, in the Division II quarterfinals on Monday at the Wellness Center. Cumberland won with scores of 25-23, 25-4, 25-9.
CRANSTON â Form held true in three of the four Division I quarterfinal playoff games contested over the past three days. Top-seeded La Salle, third-seeded Shea and fourth-seeded Barrington all advanced. Only second-seed Central Falls fell by the wayside, beaten 3-2 by seventh-seeded Cumberland on Saturday afternoon.
That sets up unbeaten La Salle versus defending champion Barrington in tonightâs 5 p.m. opener at Cranston Stadium followed by Shea and Cumberland at 7 p.m.
Throw out the regular-season records because in Division II, the playoffs beckon.
In a division known for staging âPre-Thanksgiving Madnessâ due to an eight-team field, the Div. II playoffs get underway this coming weekend with four quarterfinal-round matchups. For local entries Tolman, St. Raphael and Cumberland, the mission is clear â extend the season to Nov. 30, the date set aside for the semifinals.
FOSTER --- St. Raphael Academy is heading back to the Division II playoffs, but in order to earn their berth, the Saints had to survive a royal barnburner on the road with Ponaganset High on Saturday afternoon.
The Saints scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns and turned up the heat defensively in the final 18 minutes of play to bus home with an exciting come-from-behind 29-23 victory that not only clinched their berth, but also snuffed out the Chieftainsâ playoff hopes.
PAWTUCKET â Even though goals were hard to come by on Friday night when Tolman hosted Middletown in a Division II playoff game, there was no shortage of exciting action and stunning developments during the 100 minutes of soccer and the dramatic shootout that ended the evening with the Tigers advancing to the D-II semifinals.
Tolman, which saw a hard-earned 1-0 lead disappear in the final minute of regulation, won the game on the basis of shootout goals by Sebastian Estrada and Calvin DeOliveira along with four pressure saves from keeper Adam Ghazal.
PAWTUCKET â Tolman High took care of business in the preliminary round of the Division II playoffs on Thursday night, rolling to a 3-1 victory over Tiverton.
The sixth-seeded Tigers advance to Mondayâs 6:30 p.m. quarterfinal round matchup at Cumberland. The Clippers, who ruled Division II-North with a 12-2 record, are seeded No. 3 overall in the tournament, behind top seed Exeter/West Greenwich (14-0) and second seed Bay View (13-1).
PAWTUCKET â Emerson Barros, who had netted only one goal in his first two seasons of playoff action for Shea High, scored four times on Thursday as the Raiders sped past Portsmouth 5-2 in a Division I quarterfinal round match.
âThe one person we knew we had to mark, we didnât mark,â Portsmouth coach Mike Stinton said after the match ended. âTheir speed is the one thing we couldnât match up with today.â
A not-so-funny thing happened to St. Raphael and Ponaganset on their way to sewing up the Division II-Bâs final two playoff spots.
The Saints and Chieftains, who were each just one victory away from clinching berths last weekend and taking on two teams with paper-thin hopes of reaching the playoffs, were instead the victims of two mild upset losses.
Last Friday night, the Chieftains (3-3), who were visiting a Pilgrim team (3-3) that got socked in its three losses to Tolman, West Warwick, and SRA, found themselves dropping a 26-12 verdict.
The R.I. Interscholastic League boys soccer playoffs get under way this afternoon with a Division I quarterfinal matching visiting Portsmouth and Shea High at the McKinnon/Alves Complex in Pawtucket.
The game pits two rivals from the hard-fought East, which Shea won with a final record of 11-3-4. Portsmouth, which defeated Shea once and tied the Raiders in their other meeting, took third place in the East with a 10-5-3 record.
The Division II tournament kicks off on Friday with North runnerup Tolman (13-1-2) hosting Middletown (11-4-1 in the South) at 6 p.m. at McKinnon/Alves.
NORTH SMITHFIELD â When it gets to the end of the league season and the seedings are essentially assured for the playoff-bound teams, it's all about momentum for the postseason.
That's what neighboring Division II-North rivals North Smithfield and host Lincoln were playing for on Tuesday night at the Northmen's Athletic Field.
After 80 minutes of well-played soccer by both squads, the end result was a more-than-fair scoreless tie.
Dreamers can always dream big. Itâs a birthright that canât be stripped away, regardless if this figment of oneâs creative tanks comes off as either practical or far-fetched.
How do dreams take flight? Obviously we donât fit the description of a neuroscientist, yet weâll let you in on the origin behind this particular thought process.
Go back to last week and the exhibition contest between Providence College and Assumption that was played at Alumni Hall. As the game progressed, the more serious we started lending support to this: What if the Friars played a handful of games on campus?
Just because the Red Sox declined to pick up Dan Wheelerâs $3 million option for the 2012 season doesnât automatically spell the end of the partnership between the team and relief pitcher.
As Wheeler explained when reached Monday afternoon, the opportunity to return to Boston remains on the table. Itâs just that the process in doing so has completely changed.