Archive - Sports Article
November 12th, 2011
SOUTH KINGSTOWN ‚ÄĒ Sixteen times this season, defending state champion Exeter/West Greenwich has faced an opponent in Division II. Sixteen times, it has won handily.
No. 17 proved to be it toughest.
Seeking its first team crown in the school's history Saturday at Keaney Gymnasium, No. 3 seed Cumberland battled the top-seeded Scarlet Knights to a five-set thriller in the state finals before succumbing to scores of 22-25, 25-16, 21-25, 25-20 and 15-10.
WESTERLY ‚Äď St. Raphael Academy got off to a 15-0 lead on Friday night before Westerly rallied for a 36-22 victory in the Division II quarterfinals.
The Saints took a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter. After both teams punted twice to open the game, the Saints won the field position battle, setting up shop on Westerly‚Äôs 28-yard line. Diaz‚Äôs first punt had pinned Westerly back on its 17-yard line. His second punt was down on the Bulldogs‚Äô six-yard line. Westerly then punted and could only get the ball out to the 28-yard line.
EAST GREENWICH ‚Äď Jillian DeSimone had a feeling something good was about to happen upon sending a crossing feed toward the Mt. Hope net.
Why was DeSimone confident? Let‚Äôs just say Friday night wasn‚Äôt the first time the Lincoln senior captain shoveled off a pass with the intention of setting up one of her teammates. Turns out that teammate was junior Annie Carrol, who sacrificed her body en route to producing the only goal Lincoln would need in a 1-0 victory against Mt. Hope in the Division II semifinals. Carrol's tally came with just over six minutes remaining in second half.
NORTH SMITHFIELD ‚Äď North Smithfield is heading back in the Division IV playoffs, and the Northmen earned their return trip the hard way ‚Äď with a five-game win streak loaded with victories over the division‚Äôs top teams.
The Northmen celebrated their ‚ÄėSenior Night‚Äô and officially stamped their ticket to the postseason on Friday by putting away the division‚Äôs top scoring team, Central Falls, by a 20-6 score.
Rick Pitino, sage that he is, shared this little anecdote at last month‚Äôs Big East media day ‚Äď one that illustrates the waves new Providence College head coach Ed Cooley is making on the recruiting trail.
‚ÄúHe‚Äôs already attracting ‚Ä¶ he beat us out on a player recruiting-wise,‚ÄĚ said Pitino point blank, his eyes lighting up as if they were filled with fire. ‚ÄúI 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 he‚Äôs already made an impact.‚ÄĚ
They‚Äôve spent the past eight weeks working hard and overcoming some tough league opponents for the right to play in a meaningful game on Veteran‚Äôs 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 ‚ÄĒ ‚ÄúThis game is going to be like ‚ÄėThe Thrilla In Manila,‚Äô‚ÄĚ La Salle Academy soccer coach Mario Pereira was saying on Tuesday night. ‚ÄúThis is going to be a classic ‚Ä¶ two great teams trying to sort things out ‚Ä¶ two teams with a lot of skilled players ‚Ä¶ and kids on both sides who share an incredible passion for the game.‚ÄĚ
Pereira was talking about Saturday‚Äôs Division I state championship soccer game between his squad and Pawtucket‚Äôs 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 ‚ÄĒ For the first time in its long history, Cumberland will play for a state championship.
The Clippers earned a berth in Saturday‚Äôs 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 URI‚Äôs 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.
‚ÄúWith the benefit of hindsight, I wish I could have done more.‚ÄĚ
‚Äď 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 ‚Äúleave college football to the Barry Switzers and Jackie Sherrills‚ÄĚ of his coaching fraternity, had failed the biggest morality test of his life.
SOUTH KINGSTOWN ‚Äď You know that Mount St. Charles-Coventry final that would have been billed as a matchup pitting one unbeaten squad versus another? Apparently Ponaganset didn‚Äôt get the memo.
EAST GREENWICH ‚ÄĒ 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 High‚Äôs array of skill players singing the blues.
CRANSTON ‚ÄĒ 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 Saturday‚Äôs high noon showdown at Rhode Island College‚Äôs pitch. The two teams tied 2-2 during their only regular season meeting.
CUMBERLAND ‚ÄĒ 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 ‚Äď 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 tonight‚Äôs 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 ‚ÄúPre-Thanksgiving Madness‚ÄĚ 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 ‚Äď 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 Chieftains‚Äô playoff hopes.
PAWTUCKET ‚Äď 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 ‚Äď 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 Monday‚Äôs 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 ‚ÄĒ 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.
‚ÄúThe one person we knew we had to mark, we didn‚Äôt mark,‚ÄĚ Portsmouth coach Mike Stinton said after the match ended. ‚ÄúTheir speed is the one thing we couldn‚Äôt match up with today.‚ÄĚ
A not-so-funny thing happened to St. Raphael and Ponaganset on their way to sewing up the Division II-B‚Äôs 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.