Based on their records and how theyâ€™ve played against their league opponents, the Division I semifinals should include top-seed Barrington and No. 2 Shea from Division I-East and third-seeded Bishop Hendricken and No. 4 seed La Salle from Div. I-South.
The four powerhouses were far ahead of their counterparts in terms of overall statistics and play this fall. Unbeaten Barrington (14-0-4) scored the most goals during the regular season, putting 60 in the back of the net. Hendricken (12-2-4) proved to have the stingiest defense, allowing just nine tallies all season while posting 10 shutout victories. Combined, the four squads had just five losses.
Who will emerge as the last one standing in the state finals at Rhode Island College (7 p.m.) on Nov. 12 is anybodyâ€™s guess? And, of course, thereâ€™s the factor of the Cinderella team that always seems to show up this time of year. Remember, state championships are not always won on paper. Anything can happen in the second season.
Shea, the lone area squad in the stateâ€™s top division, certainly has the makings for a positive showing in the postseason with a good chance to bring home the hardware in their first season in Division I.
The Raiders, who were nationally ranked at the start of the season, begin those dreams this afternoon at 3:30 when they welcome No. 7 seed Portsmouth (8-7-3 in Div. I-East) to the McKinnon-Alves Complex.
Since dropping its only setback this season to Barrington in a 1-0 loss on Oct. 18, Shea (12-1-5) compiled a 2-0-2 record its final four games. The Raiders squashed East Providence, 7-0, in their regular season finale and battled Portsmouth as well as Hope to a pair of 1-1 stalemates prior to E.P.
The only other time that Shea faced todayâ€™s opponent Portsmouth was on Oct. 8 when it dominated the Patriots with an eventual 4-0 win at McKinnon-Alves. Sophomore all-stater Emerson Barros leads a very athletic group of players that can do some damage in the playoffs.
No doubt, Portsmouth will have fire in its eyes. The Patriots go into the quarterfinals after losing their final three games of the regular season, including a 2-1 loss to fourth-place Providence Country Day (5-7-3) this past Thursday.
In the Div. II playoffs, Smithfield High will begin its quest for its first state title since claiming the Div. I crown in 1994 by hosting a quarterfinal matchup on Friday night at 7 against the winner of yesterdayâ€™s Tolman-Middletown play-in game. The Sentinels, a top seed from Div. II-North, won the league title with an impressive 14-2-0 mark. Smithfield goes into the postseason with a nine-game winning streak.
Mount St. Charles is the other area team in the Div. II playoffs. The Mounties, second in Ii-North at 11-3-2, take on Prout, a third seed from Div. II-South, this Friday at 3:45 on their campus.
In their lone game, MSC beat the Crusaders (9-6-1) by a score of 2-1 in a non-league season-opener back on Aug. 31.
Burrillville (8-7-3) and North Smithfield (7-7-4) represent the area in Division III. The sixth-seeded Northmen faced No. 3 seed Tiverton (11-4-2) last night and No. 5 seed Burrillville travels to fourth-seeded West Warwick (11-4-2) on Wednesday at 3 p.m.
RIIL Soccer Playoffs
Shea vs. Portsmouth at McKinnon-Alves Complex, 3:30 p.m.
Monday at Cranston Stadium, 6 pm., 8 p.m.
Nov. 12 at Rhode Island College, 7 p.m.
Tolman-Middletown winner at Smithfield, 7 p.m.
Prout at Mount St. Charles, 3:45 p.m.
Tuesday at East Greenwich, 6 p.m., 8 p.m.
Nov. 13 at Rhode Island College, 1 p.m.
North Smithfield at Tiverton
Burrillville at West Warwick, 4 p.m.
Tuesday at Cranston Stadium, 6 p.m., 8 p.m.
Nov. 13 at Rhode Island College, 3 p.m.