Archive - Sports Article
October 5th, 2011
PAWTUCKET ââ Shea High has slipped its sports car engine into high gear as the soccer season heads into its final three weeks of league play.
The Raiders cruised to a 5-2 victory over Cumberland on Wednesday in a match that featured some controversy and a surprising push by the Clippers that created a 2-2 stalemate early in the second half.
Weekends donât get any bigger than this one when it comes to the race for the Division II-B title and the other three playoffs spots up for grabs.
On Friday night, Tolman carries its 3-0 record into Pariseau Field for a 7 p.m. contest against Mount Hope (2-1), while on Saturday afternoon, the divisionâs other 3-0 team, West Warwick, hosts St. Raphael (2-1) in a 1:30 p.m. affair.
Seems the Interscholastic League is revising its realignment policies, which could be interpreted as a sign that the stateâs governing body for high school athletics is not turning a deaf ear when its constituents speak up.
Sticking primarily with how these tweaks impact the football side, the idea of altering everything from how often realignment takes place to the specific formula that mathematically helps place teams in one division as opposed to another is something that will surely help to keep the overall product fresh.
PROVIDENCE â Following his teamâs 2-2 tie against Moses Brown on Tuesday afternoon at Wasserman Field, Tolman head coach Jack Couto was asked if the stalemate fell into the category of a good tie or a bad one.
âIt was a good tie considering the way we played. Moses Brown scored seven minutes into the game, so we werenât ready,â Couto said. âWe still get the point and we're still undefeated, but they arenât playing great right now. We need to pick it up.â
PAWTUCKET â If everything goes according to plan, St. Raphael Academy will have a new athletic director in place by monthâs end, says President-Principal Maryann Donohue-Lynch.
Such a finite timeline speaks to the confidence Donohue-Lynch has in the five-person search committee she herself handpicked. The committee will recommend candidates and advise school administrators about a successor to Bruce Gammell, whose departure in August created an opening.
CUMBERLAND â Longtime coaches John Menna of Lincoln and Joe Bennett of Smithfield have had their share of success over the years in their respective programs and enjoy winning just as much as anyone else.
But neither coach was concerned about beating unbeaten Cumberland on Tuesday in a Northern Division dual-meet finale at the Monastery. The primary concern for Menna and Bennett was on the competition between their two teams.
PAWTUCKET â Mondayâs city championship meet at Slater Park featured an expected victory by the St. Raphael Academy boys and an end to the SRA girlsâ six-year run as champions.
Tolmanâs girls, coached by former Tiger star Kayla Fleming, beat the Saints 22-33 to capture the city title. Shea High finished a distant third in the meet. Tolman placed five runners among the first seven finishers.
St. Raphaelâs Catherine Piper won the race in a personal-best time of 20 minutes, 27 seconds but Tolmanâs depth and pack-running technique proved difficult to beat.
St. Raphael Academy has enough big-play weapons on offense to stick with the more potent teams in Division II this season.
Head coach Mike Sassi is most comfortable running a Wing-T offense. This yearâs team has the personnel to make that formation work cohesively. It begins with quarterback Julian Diaz, an efficient playmaker who can throw the ball on the run and downfield when needed.
PAWTUCKET â This is what contending teams are supposed to do when facing a weaker sister â remove the drama early.
There was no debate regarding who the better team was Friday night at Pariseau Field. Tolman High scored on four of its five offensive possessions in the opening half en route to a 55-6 pasting against a Pilgrim High outfit that was left seeing stars.
Despite spending all night waltzing down Easy Street, Tolman head coach Dave Caito refused to take anything for granted. In fact, Caito had a simple message for his players as they returned to the sideline following each score.
CENTRAL FALLS --- Mount Pleasant extended its Division IV win streak to 12 games on Friday night, but Central Falls made it awfully tough for the defending champions to pick up their latest victory.
The Kilties overcame a whopping 18 penalties for 129 yards and huge games offensively from Warrior running back Josh Brandon and quarterback Brandon Canuto to pull out of Macomber Stadium with a 14-12 victory in this battle of early-season unbeatens.
CUMBERLAND â For opposing Division I schools, thereâs no secret strategy to beat Cumberland High.
While the Clippers possess a talented squad this fall, if the opposition can keep multiple all-stater Stephanie Ribeiro away from the ball the odds are favorable that a victory will come its way.
East Greenwich witnessed that on Friday.
Despite blanket coverage all afternoon, Ribeiro managed to still score three goals in their crossover match. And that was all that was needed to upset the previously-unbeaten Avengers, 3-1, at the Tucker Field complex.
PAWTUCKET â If Thursdayâs Division II-North showdown between unbeaten Tolman and once-tied Smithfield is any indication, the postseason playoffs are going to be fun to watch.
Defending D-II champion Smithfield dominated the first half of this matchup with Tolman, taking a 2-0 lead on goals by Mark Marino and Tim Cabral. The Sentinelsâ defense held the high-powered Tigersâ offense to one shot in the first half.
The baseball season provides each team with 162 opportunities to either right wrongs or sink further into the abyss. Each day yields a fresh set of results in need of analysis and dissection, hence why itâs sometimes difficult to locate a specific turning point â the one game or one injury that led to the dynamic being altered.
PAWTUCKET â Playing at Max Read Field before a boisterous crowd, Shea High lived up to the high expectations surrounding this club with a decisive 3-0 victory over 2010 Division I champion Barrington on Wednesday afternoon.
Emerson Barros figured in all three scoring plays for the Raiders, setting up forward Joao Cardoso for the first two goals and then scoring the final one with a brilliant run from the left side of the goal.
Blame it on the rain? Tough early-season matchups? Injuries? Turnovers?
Whatever the reason, 70 percent of the Blackstone Valleyâs teams that played last weekend lost, and four of those seven losing teams were badly beaten by 27 or more points.
But while the negatives outweighed the positives last weekend, this is a new week. And while not a lot of matchups stand out, there are a pair to highlight, but you will have to wait until Saturday afternoon to see these duels featuring Blackstone Valley opponents.
NORTH SMITHFIELD â Jen Brodeur had one of those seasons that doesnât come around too often for a first-year coach.
Inheriting a strong nucleus of players from previous years, the North Smithfield coach watched her Northmen lose just one league match en route to capturing the Division III state championship.
Eight senior starters have since graduated from that squad. While she wouldnât label it a rebuilding year, Brodeur wasnât expecting a similar scenario this season.
PAWTUCKET â Ho-hum.
Another game, another one-sided victory for St. Raphael Academy, one made entirely possible by the dominating Ivey-Jones sisters.
Tuesday afternoon saw Shea High become the latest Division III team to be brought to its collective knees by SRAâs 1-2 scoring punch, senior captain Kytresa Ivey-Jones tallying two goals with little sister Kyanna recording a hat trick while also delivering an on-target assist that directly led to another goal. Blend the stats together and itâs clear why the Saints coasted to a 7-0 verdict at Max Read Field.
WOONSOCKET â The offense of Tolman High, spearheaded by high-scoring sophomore Manny Wongen, has been a major contributor to its undefeated record so far.
But you got to give credit to the Tigersâ defense, too.
Just like its previous seven tilts in Division II-North, the âDâ was at the top of its game on Monday afternoon as the Tigers held off upset-minded Woonsocket, 2-1, at Barry Field.
LINCOLN --- Lincoln controlled the clock, but Rogers ruled the scoreboard.
The Vikings only had the ball on offense for approximately 10Âœ of the first 31Âœ minutes of Monday nightâs Division III game at Ferguson Field, but that didnât prevent them from producing 35 points and 228 yards of real estate and cruising to a 41-6 victory.
WOONSOCKET â Before officially closing the books on the 2010 football season for Tolman High, please, pass the lemons.
A half-healed wound is in need of one final squeeze.
Itâs about the lessons head coach Dave Caito and his Tigers learned from the way Woonsocket took over, and was allowed to take over, supremacy in last seasonâs Division II Super Bowl that was, by the end, not nearly as close as the 28-14 final score would have you believe.