SMITHFIELD – Barrington was too much for East Greenwich on their title march, winning 3-0 in the second game of Thursday night’s Division I field hockey semifinal doubleheader at Bryant University.
The Avengers were just the first challenge for the Eagles, who went on to beat previously unbeaten Moses Brown, 2-1, to win Sunday’s state championship.
“We lost to the same two teams,” Avenger head coach Deb McMullen said, reflecting on the season. “Third place isn’t what we wanted, but that’s where we’re solidified now.”
The No. 2 Eagles (7-2-1) beat No. 3 EG (6-4) twice in the regular season, 1-0 and 3-1. EG lost twice against Moses Brown in 2-1 games, and they beat NK twice. Barrington was the team that EG struggled with most. Judging by the final results, that may have been because Barrington was just the league’s best team. Or the one that got hot at the right time.
After the 3-0 score was said and done in their semifinal, there was some disappointment from EG in being outside of the final game for the second straight season. There was also recognition of what is a very talented team that came and executed their plan. Especially considering their early exit in the same round last season, Barrington seemed determined not to fall in another semifinal.
“They just have an explosive offense,” McMullen said of Barrington. “They take care of the ball in the circle on both sides.”
“Defensively,” McMullen continued. “Whenever we got the ball in the circle they just got it out so quickly. We just didn’t respond or get off enough shots.”
“Offensively, they are so powerful,” McMullen continued. “We tried and gave it our best effort and made some goal line stands. Holly [Morris, Barrington head coach] did a great job of preparing them, so I give them a lot of credit for beating us that bad. They have a lot of speed; they put a lot of kids up-field. We worked on trying to contain it, but they just got it done.”
Junior goalkeeper Jessica Imbriglio stopped 13 in a fine effort for the Avengers, as the Barrington attack was getting at the cage early. At around 22:01, Eagle senior Madelyn Cox made it 1-0 with some nice stick work in front of the goalie.
Cox made it 2-0 at 16:40 in the second and she assisted on the third goal. Sophomore forward Noelle Texeira made it 3-0 with 3:37 left.
Senior CaileighDurkin stopped five for the Eagles. She would end up getting the game-winning save in the championship against the Quakers.
With Barrington, EG, Moses Brown, and North Kingstown, DI has been a four-team tangle going back a while. The last time one of the four didn’t win was Lincoln in 2001. Last year, Barrington came in as the No. 1 seed and were knocked out by eventual champion NK, the fourth seed.
In 2016, Barrington needed overtime to beat EG 1-0 in the title game. This season gives them nine total, second to NK with 13. EG has five, the last coming in 2010. Moses Brown has three, won in consecutive years, 2012-‘14.