Boys soccer teams ousted from playoffs

Boys soccer teams ousted from playoffs

The season has ended for all of the Northern Division boys middle school soccer teams.

Ponaganset, North Cumberland, Burrillville and Lincoln all lost during the state playoffs as the division failed to place a team in the final four. The final four were Gallagher of Smithfield, Cole of East Greenwich, Jenks of Pawtucket, and Curtis Corner of South Kingstown.

During the regular season, the Ponaganset Middle School team finished in first place with an undefeated record of 9-0-3, and the team allowed a paltry four goals all season while recording 10 shutouts.

The Chieftains took on Slater of Pawtucket in the first round of the state playoffs and took a narrow 4-3 decision on a game that was decided by penalty kicks after the teams were tied at the end of regulation and through overtime.

Slater, the fourth seed in the Eastern Division, scored first on a header shot, but a few minutes later, Ponaganset was awarded a penalty kick and Evan Hallberg converted to tie the game.

It remained 1-1 through regulation and overtime. In the shoot out, the Chieftains got goals from Ty Parrillo, Hallberg and Tyler Conde to pull out the win.

The team wasn't as lucky in the round off eight when it lost 1-0 to Gallagher.

North Cumberland, the second-place finisher in the Northern Division, hosted Jamestown, the third seed from the Eastern Division, and lost 4-3 in overtime.

"It was a very tough loss, but over all, we had a good season," said first-year coach Jonathan Pais.

North Cumberland got on the board first when Aiden Bagley found the range. Jamestown scored a pair of first-half goals and 6th-grader Todd O'Connell answered for NCMS and it was 2-2 at half.

In the second half, Jamestown tallied to take a penny lead at 3-2, and with only a few minutes remaining in regulation, Bagley once again found the back of the net to tie the game.

Jamestown pushed in a goal in overtime to eliminate NCMS.

"The team performed well all season and gave it everything they had," said Pais. "I'm really proud to be the coach of this team."

Burrillville, the Northern Division's third-place team, went on the road to Portsmouth in its first playoff game and came home with a 3-2 win over the second seeded team from the Eastern Division.

But in its next contest, Burrillville took on undefeated Cole, the top seed from the Central Division, and got spanked, 6-0.

The final entry into the playoffs was coach Vern Howard's Lincoln Middle School team, and it dropped a 5-2 decision to Jenks of Pawtucket, the top seed in the Eastern Division.

"We lost 5-2, but that really doesn't tell the story of the game," said Howard. "Like we have done in the past two weeks, we controlled the game for the most part, and we knew we had to play mistake-free to have a chance."

Jenks finally overcame the young Lions team with its strength and speed.

"We played connecting passes, allowing us to control the flow, but when they got the ball, they would just head up field and use their speed to get off good shots," said Howard. "We had trouble scoring goals most of this season because our team was mostly 11- and 12-year-olds still learning the game, and we had a few key injuries along the way."

By season's end, the Lions were performing much better, and with most key members returning, Howard said he is already anxiously awaiting next season.