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PAWTUCKET â€“ Tolman High head coach Bel Pereira had hoped his squad would sew up what would've been a stellar 2-1 triumph over Division III-A rival St. Raphael Academy on Wednesday evening, but that wish fell by the wayside with one simple boot.
With 10 minutes left in regulation, and after a Tiger defender had been whistled for an infraction just outside her own zone's penalty box, officials awarded talented senior co-captain Kyanna Ivey-Jones an indirect kick from about 22 yards out.
Ivey-Jones, with one of the best natural kicks on her team, calmly knocked a floater just off the fingertips of junior goalie McKenzie Hofknecht and into the upper right corner of the net, giving the Saints a late 2-2 stalemate at McKinnon-Alves Field.
â€śI argued the call because (the ref) called an indirect kick, and that must touch at least two offensive players first,â€ť Pereira explained afterward. â€śBut because our keeper touched it, it goes as a goal. I thought she should've saved it, but McKenzie played well overall, as did our defense.â€ť
It came of little surprise to the Tolman mentor, in his 17th season at the helm, that Ivey-Jones notched SRA's first tally with seven minutes remaining before the break. The good news for Tolman: Sophomore Morgan Clark tied it up on a feed from senior Maria Vergara less than a minute later.
With the score knotted at 1-1 at the break, Vergara manufactured an unassisted goal less than a minute into the final session to give the Tigers the 2-1 cushion it needed. After that, both clubs mustered stellar scoring opportunities but couldn't convert â€“ that is, until Ivey-Jones delivered the game-tying tally.
All told, the Saints' senior netminder Junishia Fofana closed with 12 saves in the deadlock, while Hofknecht stopped 14 SRA tries.
â€śWe're getting better, let's put it that way,â€ť Pereira grinned after his crew improved to 0-3-1 in league action. â€śOur defense and midfield play were pretty solid, but we still need to learn how to finish. It's not a surprise that we've been lacking offense; I lost (senior) Ashley Clark (to graduation), and she led us in goals last year with 19. She helped us get to the Division III final.
â€śStill, it's a good point for us; we achieved it against a very good team,â€ť he added. â€śThey're well-coached (by Michael Ross Drake), and they have a lot of talent, so we'll take it.â€ťView more articles in: