New-look Novans fall to Cougars

New-look Novans fall to Cougars

Woonsocket junior midfielder Koke Cissokho, left, motors around North Providence sophomore Santino Autiello and brings the ball down the field during last Saturday morning’s Division III opener at Barry Field. The visiting Cougars scored three quick goals before ending up with a 5-1 victory. (Breeze photos by Kayla Panu)
Plante takes over boys’ soccer team; Robinson-O’Hagan returns to lineup

WOONSOCKET – The head coach is arguably one of the greatest girls’ volleyball players and coaches in Woonsocket High’s history, and one of the junior captains is the Division II Super Bowl-winning quarterback of the Villa Novans’ football team and one of the country’s best high school shot put, hammer, and weight throwers.

And those are just two of the newcomers on this season’s WHS boys’ soccer team, which finally kicked off its Division III season last Saturday morning at Barry Field, but suffered a 5-1 defeat to North Providence High.

“It feels good to be finally playing a game, but we didn’t start out well,” said Plante, who saw the visiting Cougars roll out to a 3-0 lead in the game’s opening minutes before sophomore forward Mbye Camara scored the Novans’ goal on a penalty kick midway through the first half.

When the head coaching position for the soccer team went unfilled, Plante stepped up to make sure the boys would still be able to play. She said that a lot of players did not return from last year’s team, which went 4-10-1, so much of the roster is made up of different names.

And with the shortened preseason, which contained no scrimmages or Injury Fund games, the Novans are still trying to get organized and be on the same page.

Plante has four captains, senior midfielders Andre Visouveth and Kyle Sirypannho, junior goalkeeper Jayson Inthasane, and Robinson-O’Hagan, who is a center midfielder and would have been playing for the football team had the RIIL not decide to move that season to next spring.

Robinson-O’Hagan had played for the Novans two seasons ago, starting as a sweeper, before turning his attention full-time to the gridiron last year.

Among the returnees are senior forward Clinton Kittavong, who for the past three years, has served double duty with the soccer team and as the football team’s kicker. The other four seniors on the Novans’ roster are right back Abou Jobe, forward Augusto Oliveira, center back Arnold Souvanna-Sayaphat, and midfielder Andre Visouveth.

“I think we have a lot of skills, so we would like to make the playoffs,” added Plante, whose assistant coach is her son, Tyler Plante. “But these kids have to work a little bit harder in practice and build up their endurance. They need to improve on their passing and take advantage.”

As for last Saturday’s defeat, Plante, who is also the school’s head boys’ volleyball coach, said that she thinks the loss will be a learning curve for her team, and she pointed out a few other areas that need some improvement.

“Some of them are not realizing that they can’t keep the ball up in the air; you have to possess the ball and trap,” she said. “We didn’t do a good job of doing that and moving the ball. (NP) played much better. They made short, quick passes moving the ball and we didn’t do that. We tried to dribble too much up the middle.”

The Novans are back in action on Saturday with a 1 p.m. game against the Paul Cuffee School at Providence’s Drummond Field.

Woonsocket junior captain Tarik Robinson-O’Hagan, right, races past North Providence sophomore Nicolas Upegui with the ball.
Amadou Jawo