SOUTH KINGSTOWN–The South Kingstown boys lacrosse team controlled Cumberland for the majority of Saturday’s hard-fought Division II matchup on its way to an 8-3 victory.
Junior captain Chad Mitchell was a force for the Rebels, netting five goals and assisting on two others.
His points were also timely, breaking a tie game and scoring five of SK’s final six goals.
Both teams set a defensive tone early, exchanging turnovers and a few meager scoring opportunities.
Senior Owen Glanville got the game’s first points for the Rebels, slinging in an unassisted goal with around six minutes left in the first quarter.
Junior Nick Zaroogian then doubled the Rebels’ advantage with a little over 20 seconds remaining in the opening quarter off an assist from Mitchell to give his team a two-goals lead heading into the second.
Clipper Conor Fleurant scored off an assist from Christopher Hayes to put Cumberland on the scoreboard with 9:51 to go in the first half. and soon after midfielder John Buckley netted a goal of his own to tie the game.
The rest of the half, however, belonged to Mitchell.
The SK captain scored three straight goals to end the half to put the Rebels ahead 5-2 at the break.
His first two scores were unassisted and the second was scored off a Zaroogian assist with a man-up advantage.
SK came out in the second half just as motivated. Zaroogian netted his second of the game with a little over nine minutes left in the third quarter and Mitchell added two more goals to round out the scoring for SK.
“It was a good game, Cumberland is a real good team [and] we always enjoy playing them,” SK head coach Tom Duggan said. “What was good from our perspective is that we played four quarters and we played both ends of the field.
“We got some good, solid offensive play and we got some good, solid defensive play and that’s what we’ve been trying to nail down all season thus far.”
Though the final score may seem distorted, the game was a hard-hitting, defense-driven matchup for the most part and Duggan was encouraged with the way his team battled through some early missed opportunities.
“When things aren’t going just like you want them to go the tendency is to start doing things you normally don’t and we remained focused on the game plan and it worked out,” said Duggan. “Defense is getting more and more confidence. We don’t have any seniors; we have one junior, the rest are sophomore and freshman. They’ve really been starting to come together.”
Thanks to the win the Rebels (8-1, 7-1 Division II-South) stay one game behind unbeaten East Greenwich – the only team to beat SK this season – in the standings.
“This year the teams are very balanced across the league, both north and south,” Duggan said. “It all depends on who shows up, any team can win on any day.”
South wrapped up the crossover portion of its schedule at Wheeler Tuesday (results unavailable at press time) and will finish the regular season with a set of four games against the rest of D-II South.
The Rebels will take on neighboring Narragansett Thursday at 6 p.m. at Curtis Corner and the following Thursday will get a rematch with East Greenwich on May 9 at 6 p.m.