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NARRAGANSETTâHow a team views a tie is all about how it happens.
The Narragansett boys soccer team, for example, was more than happy to leave Tuesdayâs home contest against Mount Pleasant with a 1-1 decision thanks to some late heroics from senior Alec Cotroneo.
âThe good news is weâll get a point out of it,â Narragansett coach Ryan Kanaczet said. âWe donât know what the bad news is because we donât know how this teamâs going to fare.
ââŠHopefully this team is a top five team in the division and we can say that tie wasnât that bad.â
As the red numbers on the scoreboard at Tom Ashley Field glared â frozen at 2:00 to signal the remaining time would be kept on the field by officials â Cotroneo turned and fired a shot from 25 yards out along the right edge of the goal box.
âI honestly just turned and hit it,â Cotroneo said. âI knew where to hit it on my foot but I didnât really look up until after I kicked the ball.â
The shot couldnât have been better, soaring over the top of the Kiltiesâ keeper and into the back of the net, sending the Narragansett players into shocked jubilation.
âIâm just happy we tied,â Cotroneo said, âbecause I feel we should have beaten this team from the beginning.
ââŠ[Corner kicks] were really all our offense today and I guess that shot was just a lucky a shot. We were lucky we made it to a tie and we just need to work on offensive position for the rest of the season.â
It was one point in the standings the Mariners very nearly didnât get as for some time it appeared as if Mount Pleasant was going to leave South County with a victory.
After neither team scored in the first half the Kilties had a golden opportunity in the 45th minute on a scrum inside the Marinersâ 18-yard line.
âGansett sophomore goalkeeper Austin McKanna â who had his fare share of game-saving stops Tuesday â made a save on an initial shot that pulled him away from the goal line, leaving the net unprotected.
The Kilties got a second shot on net in McKannaâs absence but fortunately for the Mariners defenseman Kyle Frankovich had alertly slid back to the goal line, where he stopped the attempt and a follow up before âGansett cleared the threat.
âThey had some big stops in the back,â Kanaczet said. âMy back four played a great game. Some mistakes here and there but weâll fix them and go from there.â
Narragansett nearly turned good defense into a goal at the other end but Jonathan Rostâs shot from inside 15 yards along the left side was turned away by Mount Pleasantâs keeper.
The two teams had some minor chances over the next 20 minutes before the Kilties finally broke the scoreless tie in the 65th minute.
After drawing a direct kick just outside the right corner of the box, Mount Pleasant sent the ball over Narragansettâs four-player wall and into the middle of the box.
After some initial jockeying for possession amongst red and white jerseys the ball trickled out to the 18-yard line where the Kiltiesâ Mauro Cortez-Pacheco tucked a one-timer inside the right post for the 1-0 lead.
The Mariners had a handful of promising scoring chances âparticularly a corner kick in the 68th minute that bounced through the Mount Pleasant box untouched â but it appeared as if the Mariners were destined for the loss.
Then came Cotroneoâs strike, fittingly enough finding the back of the net after traditionally better scoring chances had come and gone all game for the Mariners.
âWe were close on a couple,â Kanaczet said of his teamâs inability to take advantage of corner kicks. âThere should have been two or three goals on them to be honest with you and that would have changed the whole outcome of the game.â
Narragansett (1-0-1 Division II, 2-1-1 overall) will look to put its unbeaten league record on the line today at 4 p.m. when it travels to Woonsocket for a match with Mount St. Charles.