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.
LINCOLN --- Lincoln controlled the clock, but Rogers ruled the scoreboard.
The Vikings only had the ball on offense for approximately 10Â½ of the first 31Â½ minutes of Monday nightâ€™s Division III game at Ferguson Field, but that didnâ€™t 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.
Itâ€™s 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 seasonâ€™s Division II Super Bowl that was, by the end, not nearly as close as the 28-14 final score would have you believe.
CENTRAL FALLS --- Central Fallsâ€™ â€˜Dâ€™ earned an A-plus from its head coach on Friday night.
The Warriorsâ€™ defense forced five turnovers, recorded six sacks, and limited Hope to just 12 yards of offense en route to an impressive 21-0 victory in their Division IV meeting at rain-drenched and mud-covered Macomber Stadium.
Offensively, senior quarterback Brandon Canuto tossed a pair of touchdown passes and senior running back Joshua Brandon had his first career 100-yard game on the ground by picking up 111 yards on 21 carries, but the night clearly belonged to the defense.