LINCOLN—Facing a top-seeded team is never an easy task but the East Greenwich boys soccer team was smelling an upset Saturday night against Lincoln in the quarterfinals of the Division II playoffs.
After beating defending-champ Classical four days prior in a shootout the Avengers once again found themselves in the same sudden-death situation against the Lions but this time it did not go in EG’s favor as Lincoln survived for a 2-1 victory.
“We got unlucky I guess,” East Greenwich senior Pat Lavan said.
East Greenwich took a lead into halftime thanks to Ryan Douglas’ goal but just 37 seconds into the second half the Lions tied it up on a score from Matuez Puzanowski.
Both teams had their chances in the overtime sessions – with Douglas nearly scoring from 30 yards out in the first and Lincoln squandering a series of direct and corner kicks at the end of the second – but ultimately the game remained tied at one-apiece to force the shootout.
Lincoln won the coin flip, elected to shoot first and didn’t wait to put the pressure on as Brian Hasegawa tucked one inside the right post for the 1-0 lead through the first round after EG’s Joe Madden missed right.
The Lions doubled their lead in the second round as Alex D’Aloisio scored inside the left post, while Brendan Jordan’s shot hit off Lincoln goalkeeper Jack Bacon’s glove and off the crossbar for the 2-0 Lion lead.
The third round, however, went in favor of East Greenwich as Nolan Cooney stopped Ben Howard and senior Neil Fachon netted the Avs’ first score in PK’s.
The Lions answered in the fourth round though, as Cooney guessed correctly but David Jessey’s shot was just perfectly placed as the ball went in just beyond the EG keeper’s outstretched arm.
Douglas then stepped up to take the decisive kick with the match on the line and without even watching where the ball went the wry smile on his face said it all.
The attempt had missed the left post by a matter of inches, skirting beyond the goal to put a dramatic conclusion on the thrilling match.
While the ride is over for the Avengers it was still a strong 2013 campaign after a 6-6-3 regular season and eliminating the defending Division II champ Purple before Saturday’s loss.
Against Classical EG appeared to have jumped out to a lead five minutes in but the goal was ultimately called back. From then on the two teams played to scoreless regulation and extra sessions.
After the overtime periods the two teams went into the shootout where Cooney made two saves and Jordan’s score – the seventh attempted by EG – secured the victory.
In the shootout Madden, Andres Naranjo, Fachon and Lavan each scored, while Douglas had one hit the post and bounce out.
“Overall it was a good season,” Lavan said. “Obviously in previous years we were a little bit better and this would considered a down year but I was happy with the season and happy with what our team did.”