EPHS Playoffs Recap. Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball all Win
Teams move on in State Championship Playoffs
Townie Boys Soccer in Comeback D-I Playoff Thriller
EP takes on favored LaSalle Friday Night
The EPHS boys soccer team needed a win on a cold rainy October 30th night at their home campus to move on in the state playoffs. Down a player after a referee’s “red card penalty,” East Providence incredibly scored three goals for the come from behind win against a good Central High team. “With five minutes left and down a player the team managed to score three goals for the 4-3 win. What a game, what a comeback. It was a thriller of a game on Halloween Eve,” said an excided East Providence Mayor, Bob DaSilva. DaSilva’s son, Dorian, is a senior member of the team.
“We went down 1-0 in the first half. Central captain Moreno played extremely well netting the first goal,” said Townie first year coach Tim Calouro. “William Rodrigues crossed the ball and it landed outside the box and Nathan Capelo laced it from 25 yards to make the game level at 1.” The teams entered half time tied at 1. Central took the lead and looked tough to stop when the second half began. The Knights Captain Emanuel Moreno scored on “a beautiful strike from 30 yards out,” and went ahead 2-1. On a corner kick, the ball was tipped to Central’s Mark Santos who sent in the goal for what seemed like an insurmountable 3-1 lead with under 25 minutes to play.
The Townies never gave up. However, an apparent EP goal was waved off by the official when he ruled an EP player made illegal contact with the goalie and the score remained 3-1 with time running out. The next sequence which propelled the Townies to the win was called “Magic” by coach Calouro. “After we received a red card and was forced to play with 10 men, I switched the boys around and had to gamble. I told our players to run and keep running, that there was no tomorrow. After we scored, they believed we could do it,” added Calouro.
With seven minutes remaining in the game, East Providence scored on a shot from Nathan Capelo that was saved, hit the post and Jordan Rodrigues knocked in the rebound making the score 3-2. “Minutes later we got a foul call for a free kick and Capelo plays it into the box with a lovely chip and found Jordan Rodrigues for his second goal. Then with 2 minutes left Nathan Capelo takes the corner and finds Sam Jackson with the header for the go ahead goal and our 4-3 lead,” described Calouro. Senior goal keeper James McShane kept the Townies in the contest with some great saves throughout. “This win was absolute magic,” added Calouro.
The Townies move on to play top-seeded LaSalle on November 3rd at LaSalle. The Rams only had one loss all season. That result will be posted on ReporterToday.com. The LaSalle head coach, Mario Pereira, is in the EPHS Hall of Fame and is a former Townie all-state soccer player. “Coach Pereira was here watching our game. He’ll have LaSalle ready. We will show up and give it our best,” added Calouro.
Townies Girls Tennis move on to D-III State Championship on Saturday
In a cold blustery Thursday afternoon, the East Providence High School girls tennis team defeated Cranston East in a match that came down to the last volley in a 4-3 playoff match at EPHS. The win propelled the undefeated Townies to the state championship match Saturday afternoon against neighboring prep school, PCD. “We’re going back to the championship,” yelled head coach Slade Sharma after the exciting match concluded. “We were down a player and really haven’t faced a similar challenge, but the players responded,” said Sharma after the match. “Seeing the players during school, in the halls, seeing their eyes and determination, I felt good that we were going to win this thing. The belief was high, we haven’t been tested like this before, the team wanted it,” the excited coach continued.
The match came down to the very last point. “It came down to our third doubles team, Isabella Periquito and Ava Domingues whose 6-2, 6-4 win sent us to Saturday’s title match.” Caroline Haggerty scored first for the Townies shutting out her opponent with two 6-0 wins. Cranston East fought back with a couple of wins but the Townies one and two doubles teams, Tianna Brierly/Madison Luu and Rylee Thurber/Maggie Robinson won to put EP ahead by one point. Cranston East came back with a win at number 4 singles but the doubles team of Periquito/Domingues sealed the EP win. “I’m happy for these kids, they worked hard and we’re all looking forward to Saturday’s championship match,” said the affable Townie coach and EPHS teacher.
PCD head coach Mike Silva is an EPHS alum and played tennis for EPHS. Silva and Sharma know each other well and PCD has been “gunning” for the undefeated Townies. The 3:30 match on Saturday should be a good one. “I like our chances,” said Sharma.
EP Girls Volleyball in D-II Quarterfinal win over Cranston West
Minutes after the Townies tennis semi-final win much of the crowd moved into the high school gymnasium where the temperature was warmer and the Townie volleyball team continued their hot streak and stayed unbeaten. East Providence shut out Cranston West with scores of 25-11, 25-14 and 25-21. The Townies dominated the match except for a couple of moments in the third game when the Falcons took advantage of a couple of miscues by EP and briefly led. “At this point in the season I don’t need to tell them (players) what they need to do. We were struggling a bit with our service-receive in game three and we had too many unforced errors, but they know that and snapped out of it on their own,” said head coach Alex Butler.
In the sweep over Cranston East, Keira Mullen had 9 kills, 11 assists and 4 aces, while Malia Mullen had 6 kills, 4 blocks, and 2 aces for EP. Overall East Providence, which came into the quarterfinals undefeated, played well. “I told the team that the first playoff game is always the hardest. This is a new group on the floor for us. There are some different people in different spots, so there will be some nerves that go along with that. For the most part they did what they needed to do. It’s a great bunch of kids, they respond well, on the court and in the classroom, I couldn’t ask for more,” said coach Butler and the school’s Athletic Director.
East Providence will play in the D2 semifinals against Barrington on Tuesday, November 7th in a 5 pm match at North Kingstown High School.
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