PAWTUCKET – West Warwick almost pulled off the upset heard around Division III on Tuesday night, taking a 2-1 lead into the final two minutes of the second overtime before St. Raphael Academy’s Kytresa Ivey-Jones scored the goal of her young life, tying the contest and sending it into a shootout that the Saints won, 4-2, on a clinching goal by freshman Trina Lomba.
St. Raphael Academy moves into Thursday’s Division III semifinals with the win. The Saints, now 15-0 on the season, will face Middletown (12-1-4), which defeated Shea, 10-1, on Tuesday night to reach the semis. The game will be played on Middletown’s home field at 2 p.m.
“West Warwick had us well-marked all game,” Saints coach Ashley Femino said, tipping her hat in the direction of an underdog Wizards squad that double-covered Kytresa Ivey-Jones and her sister Kyanna whenever the ball came their way.
“They had us well-scouted,” Femino added. “When we were down 2-1, I knew we were going to come back and tie the game. We were knocking on the door right before Kytresa scored. We were one touch short of a goal. Then Kytresa came through. She always comes up big when we need her.”
After the final two minutes of the second overtime period ticked off with the match still tied at 2-2, the referees gathered both coaches and selected the names of 10 players from each side. A first round of five shooters from each team would be held and if a tie still existed, the final five shooters would go forward. But it never got that far as the Saints scored on all four of their shots and West Warwick misfired on two of its attempts.
The Wizards, 8-6-2 during the regular season, had first crack in the shootout and got a goal from co-captain Morgan Rossi. The Saints answered with an easy goal from Kyanna Ivey-Jones, the freshman sensation and younger sister of Kytresa.
West Warwick’s Sierra Quimby then hit the crossbar and saw the ball deflect over the net. Saints goalie Caitlin Dunn appeared to be in good position to stop the shot if it had been a little lower.
The Saints took a 2-1 lead when senior Danielle Peloquin, who had scored the only regulation goal for SRA way back in the third minute of the match, beat Wizards goaltender Kaylee Miller.
Kendra Quimby then tied it back up for West Warwick. That put the pressure on Kytresa Ivey-Jones, who drilled an easy goal into the right corner of the goal for a 3-2 Saints advantage.
When West Warwick’s Jenna Coutu missed her shot to the left of the net, the Saints had a chance to win it when Trina Lomba stepped to the line. The freshman coolly lofted a shot into the upper right corner for a 4-2 victory in the shootout.
“We had an order picked out before the shootout began,” said Femino. “We had practiced our shootout just in case this might happen. We tried to pick the most level-headed kids and they really came through for the team.”
The Saints had to battle just to get to the shootout. They could muster only a 1-0 lead in the first half when they had the wind at their back. In the second half, with a steady rain supporting the wind, West Warwick began to take control, using the speed of left winger Rebecca Pacheco and the passing skills of midfielder MacKenzie Ramsay to create several scoring chances.
The Wizards tested Saints goalie Dunn, finally getting the tying goal when forward Kendra Quimby converted a short shot from five yards out with 10 minutes left in the second half.
With the wind again at its back, West Warwick took a 2-1 lead in the first overtime period when Kristen King sent a shot past Dunn. But the Saints regained control in the second overtime, this time with the wind at their back, and Kytresa Ivey-Jones finally capitalized, much to the relief of her teammates and head coach.
“Kytresa has been our leading scorer for three years,” Femino admitted. “We knew she could do it for us.”