SOUTH KINGSTOWN—Last Thursday the East Greenwich girls soccer team felt it left two points on the table when it settled for a 1-1 draw with Coventry.
Tuesday night at Curtis Corner Middle School, the Avengers were lucky to leave with any points at all.
East Greenwich (9-0-4 Division I) trailed by two goals late in Tuesday’s contest but a pair of goals six minutes apart salvaged a 2-2 tie with South Kingstown (4-4-5 D-I).
Even with the tie, the Rebels left the game feeling pretty good about themselves as a 1-0 loss to La Salle on Oct. 3 is SK’s only loss during the month of October in six games.
“They’re a really good team and it’s the reason why they haven’t lost yet and we’re re really playing well right now,” SK coach Toby Gibbons said. “We’re starting to get it going at the right time of year.”
Each team came out of the gates pushing and early on EG had a number of chances to get on the scoreboard but couldn’t convert.
“It’s a little frustrating not to score at the beginning of the game and get up one, possibly two,” EG coach Scott Douglas said. “Then it makes it a lot easier but we just don’t seem to get the first one and it haunts us like against Coventry the other night.
“…We got lucky tonight to come back. The good thing is the girls didn’t quit, they played all the way to the end, they almost scored to finish it and so that they have to be proud of.”
Then in the 31st minute the Rebels finally broke the scoreless tie on an incredible strike from senior Elecia Cardarelli, who put a ball on net from 35 yards out that perfectly went over the outstretched hand of EG goalkeeper Caroline Preston.
South Kingstown took a 1-0 lead into the break and in the 53rd minute scored what appeared to be a back-breaking goal on a beautiful strike 25 yards out from sophomore Isabelle Pesante.
“We’ve been talking about our structure and giving ourselves opportunities to get into those spaces so the shots will open up,” Gibbons said. “Today a couple of them did. The kids did a good job, we would have liked to have gotten one more but we’ll be happy with the two.”
The Avengers couldn’t get anything going over the next 10 minutes and seemed destined to suffer their first defeat of the season before junior Marissa McCann gave her team a chance.
McCann put a shot on net from the left side with 16:10 remaining in the game that appeared to be saved by SK’s Bridget Montle, but in fact the ball just squirted under the Rebels’ keeper to cut the deficit in half.
The score seemed to breathe new life into the Avengers and a little over five minutes later tied the game on a goal from senior captain Sarah Beaulieu.
In the final 10 minutes both teams had their chances.
With two and half minutes to go SK’s Rachel Murphy got behind the EG defense and had a chance with only Preston in front of her but a fine tackle from behind by junior Alex Freeman prevented Murphy from getting a shot off.
The Avengers countered and 45 seconds later got a promising opportunity of their own but ultimately could not steal the full three points.
The good thing for the Avengers’ is their ties over the past three games – extending back to a scoreless draw with Bay View Oct. 15 – is it is enough to lock up a first-round bye in the Division I playoffs.
Where EG finishes, however, is still to be determined.
The Avengers wrap up the regular season Friday at 6:30 p.m. when they host La Salle (11-0-2 D-I), who secured the top seed in the playoffs Tuesday night with their win over Coventry.
If EG can get a win Friday they will be the No. 2 seed no matter what but could fall to as far as No. 4 depending on what Bay View and Portsmouth do in their final games.
The Bengals play Cranston West (1-12-0 D-I) today in what in all likelihood will be a Bay View win, which would put them two points ahead of EG in the standings and bump the Avs to third.
The Patriots can tie the Avengers if they beat North Kingstown and EG loses to the Rams Friday. Since the two teams tied during the regular season it would come down to goal differential, which would likely go to Portsmouth.
As for the Rebels, too many ties have made things a little complicated as far as their seeding goes.
South could finish as high as the seventh seed or as low as the 10th depending on what happened in its game Thursday against Mt. Hope (results unavailable at press time), as well as what North Kingstown, Coventry and Cumberland do in their respective regular season finales.
Either way, the Rebels will have to play a preliminary round playoff game early next week and it will be at Curtis Corner if they’re the No. 7 or 8 seed.