Clippers edge Warriors
Warriors create better chances; Clippers finish
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.”
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.
Cumberland’s Jonathan Baker (6) and Central Falls’ Adilson Gomes Da Silva (11) battle for possession of the ball Thursday afternoon.