Clip­pers edge War­riors

War­riors cre­ate bet­ter chances; Clip­pers fin­ish

Pawtucket Times - - FRONT PAGE - By BRANDEN MELLO bmello@woonsock­et­

Cum­ber­land takes ad­van­tage of opportunity

CUM­BER­LAND — The Cum­ber­land and Cen­tral Falls boys soccer teams are a beau­ti­ful con­trast in styles.

While Clip­per sec­ond-year coach Justin Re­sendes has im­ple­mented a pass­ing-and­mov­ing sys­tem he was weaned on while star­ring at La Salle Academy, the War­riors play a di­rect ap­proach to take ad­van­tage of the skill and speed of for­ward Adil­son Gomes Da Silva.

The War­riors’ ap­proach led to far more scor­ing chances, but soccer isn’t about cre­at­ing chances – it’s about fin­ish­ing them – and the Clip­pers were the only team to fin­ish a chance Thurs­day af­ter­noon at Tucker Field.

Less than a minute af­ter CF ju­nior mid­fielder Ne­hemias San­doval wasted a break­away opportunity, Clip­per sopho­more Troy Har­raka lofted a ball from the right side of the penalty box that was in­tended to be a cross to the far post. In­stead, the ball curled into the net to lift the Clip­pers to a 1-0 Divi­sion I vic­tory.

“I thought be­cause of the time the game started (4 p.m. in­stead of the usual 7 p.m.) I thought we were a lit­tle off,” Re­sendes said. “In terms of the soccer, I think we need to show a lit­tle more ur­gency. We had the ball more than them and we were try­ing to cre­ate chances and we need to be cleaner in front of the net.

“This is about mak­ing sure we take care of busi­ness on the front end and score some goals, but the big­gest thing for us was be­ing or­ga­nized be­cause they had a pacey player (Da Silva) up top.”

Cen­tral Falls (1-2 Divi­sion I) was ac­tu­ally the home team Thurs­day be­cause Ma­comber Field was deemed to have con­tam­i­nated soil by the city. The War­riors are play­ing all of their games on the road and their only “home” game will take place on Oct. 21 when Divi­sion III North Prov­i­dence comes to Max Read Field for se­nior day.

Be­cause the team is on the road all sea­son, CF coach Carl Africo said it’s up to his cap­tains and up­per­class­men to lead the way when games get tough. Africo said he was dis­ap­pointed by his team’s re­sponse to Cum­ber­land’s goal and he talked to his team for 15 min­utes fol­low­ing the game about their re­spon­si­bil­ity to the pro­gram.

“This is a play­off-cal­iber team and we will go to the play­offs,” Africo said. “We have a lead­er­ship prob­lem where ev­ery­thing is fall­ing apart around them and they haven’t fig­ured out how to bond and they haven’t fig­ured out it’s not go­ing to change.

“We’re not go­ing to mirac­u­lously get a home field and play in front of our fans. They had plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to win this game. When you don’t do that, you have to give credit to Cum­ber­land. This week­end, I want the kids to do some­thing as a team. They need to have that bunker men­tal­ity where it’s us against the world.”

Cum­ber­land (2-0-1 Divi­sion I) al­ready owns a draw with de­fend­ing state cham­pion Bar­ring­ton, along with a 3-0 vic­tory over Cen­tral. First-year start­ing goalie Jake Reed recorded six saves to pick up his sec­ond straight shutout.

The sopho­more’s big­gest save of the af­ter­noon came in the fi­nal minute of the first half when he stuck his right foot out to block a one-timer off the foot of Keisse Teix­eira Pina.

“He saved us there,” Re­sendes said about the play at the end of the first half. “He’s good. He’s a young keeper work­ing hard and we have a lit­tle keeper bat­tle go­ing on. He’s push­ing a se­nior. It’s good for the pro­gram to have ev­ery­one in­volved.”

Both teams wasted chances in the open­ing half, but the War­riors should’ve taken the lead in the 64th minute when an at­tempted Clip­per clear­ance de­flected off of a War­rior and into the path of San­doval. The ju­nior drib­bled in on goal, but his shot went di­rectly at Lopes, who made the save.

“We cre­ated a lot of good chances,” Africo said. “His an­swer af­ter I took him off was he thought he was off­side and he was wait­ing for the whis­tle. I just told him the worst thing that can hap­pen is they can pull it out of the cage and say it didn’t count. In­stead, he played like he was off­side and kicked it at the goalie.”

Har­raka, af­ter a short pass from Ed­win Gon­calves, at­tempted to play a cross to the far post, but his cross turned into a per­fect shot that went over Juan Her­nan­dez and into the net to lift the Clip­pers to their sec­ond straight win.

The Clip­pers wel­come an­other Black­stone Val­ley foe to Tucker Field Mon­day when tal­ented Shea vis­its for a 7 p.m. con­test.

“The goal go­ing from last year to this year was be­com­ing a le­git­i­mate pro­gram,” Re­sendes said. “We want to try and get points in ev­ery game we can. We feel we can play with the best teams and be at the top end of the divi­sion at the end of the sea­son.”

Pho­tos by Ernest A. Brown

Cen­tral Falls for­wards Adil­son Gomes DaSilva (11, above) and Keisse Teix­eira Pina (2, be­low) had chances to score in Thurs­day’s game, but Cum­ber­land’s Troy Har­raka (16) de­liv­ered the only goal in his team’s 1-0 Di­vi­sion I vic­tory at Tucker Field.

Photo by Ernest A. Brown

Cum­ber­land’s Jonathan Baker (6) and Cen­tral Falls’ Adil­son Gomes Da Silva (11) bat­tle for pos­ses­sion of the ball Thurs­day af­ter­noon.

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