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, thereâ€™s 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 Thursdayâ€™s 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 itâ€™s 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 Valleyâ€™s 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 doesnâ€™t 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 wouldnâ€™t label it a rebuilding year, Brodeur wasnâ€™t 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 SRAâ€™s 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 itâ€™s 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 â€˜Dâ€™ was at the top of its game on Monday afternoon as the Tigers held off upset-minded Woonsocket, 2-1, at Barry Field.