Lions set­tle for tie with Oak­ers

Lin­coln can’t hold on to pair of one-goal leads in sec­ond half

Pawtucket Times - - SPORTS - By NICK CAN­TOR kc­sports@ri­cen­

COVEN­TRY — Hav­ing watched his team en­dure its first de­feat of the sea­son on Tues­day at Ex­eter/West Green­wich, Coven­try coach Chris Daigneault was ea­ger to see his team re­turn to the field as soon as pos­si­ble and cor­rect the mis­takes.

Thurs­day, the Oak­ers saw a bet­ter all-around ef­fort from their play­ers, which in the end, re­sulted in a 3-3 tie with vis­it­ing Lin­coln, bump­ing their record to 3-1-1 on the year.

“Com­ing off of the way they played on Tues­day, I would say they showed a lot of fight to­day. We played more like our game,” Daigneault said af­ter­wards.

Syd­ney Re­sendes, Lau­ren Deus and Anna Kalooksi pro­vided the scor­ing for the Oak­ers, while the Lions got their three goals from Lily Loparto, Jenna Ia­cio­fano and Ri­ley Specht.

The key for Coven­try was main­tain­ing con­trol of the ball and mak­ing smart passes in the of­fen­sive end.

“Most games that we have been play­ing this year, pos­ses­sion-wise, we have been re­ally out-pos­sess­ing teams 70-30. I would say and we got back to that to­day,” Daigneault said.

Re­sendes scored in the third minute of play, to help set the pace early, though it would prove to be Coven­try’s only goal of the open­ing half. Abi­gail Har­­sisted on the goal.

Lin­coln’s of­fense was dor­mant early, as it ap­peared that they would head into the break down a goal, but Loparto tied the game with less than a minute re­main­ing be­fore half­time, spark­ing life into the Lions, as her shot got past Oaker goal­keeper Liz Ken­ney.

Coach Chris Allen was im­pressed by his team’s abil­ity to over­come their lethar­gic start, com­bined with Coven­try’s early score.

“A very phys­i­cal game. Two strong and de­fen­sive teams that took their time,” he said.

“They got the early goal right away, then I think we set­tled it down and kind of es­tab­lished our­selves by the end of the first (half). I thought we were play­ing a lit­tle more the way we would like to play,” he said.

Af­ter Ia­cio­fano gave the vis­i­tors their first lead in the 44th minute, Coven­try re­sponded less than two min­utes later on a suc­cess­ful penalty kick by Deus, knot­ting the score up at 2.

Lin­coln re­claimed the lead in the 49th minute with Specht seiz­ing the mo­ment as Ken­ney was un­able to cor­ral a loose ball, but it would be Coven­try net­ting the day’s fi­nal goal as Jordan Dwyer con­nected on a pass to Anna Kalooski who con­verted the equal­izer in the 59th minute.

“The back and forth was a lit­tle nerve wrack­ing, but a good, strong per­for­mance fm both sides,” Allen said of the up and down play both sides dis­played in the sec­ond half.

He is con­fi­dent by the di­rec­tion his club is headed in with plenty of soccer left to be played.

“Over­all, we’re mov­ing for­ward. That puts up to 2-1-2, so we’re right in the mid­dle of the pack. We’re do­ing what we need to do, but there is al­ways room for im­prove­ment and games like th­ese give us some­thing to work on,” Allen said.

On the other side, while con­tent with their over­all ef­fort, Daigneault would like to see his team cap­i­tal­ize on their op­por­tu­ni­ties a lit­tle more ef­fec­tively.

“We just have to work a lit­tle harder on fin­ish­ing our chances and avoid­ing those lit­tle break­downs, be­cause we prob­a­bly had five or six break­downs and they put three of them in,” he said of the Lions’ scor­ing on the day.

The Oak­ers have a full week to pre­pare for their next con­test when they travel to River­side to take on Bay View Academy on Septem­ber 22. Lin­coln will be back in ac­tion next Mon­day when they host Cum­ber­land at 6:30 p.m.

Photo by Jerry Sil­ber­man / risport­

Lin­coln ju­nior mid­fielder Lily Loparto (7, right) scored a goal late in the first half of Thurs­day’s 3-3 tie with Coventry. The Lions are now 2-1-2 in Di­vi­sion I.

Photo by Jerry Sil­ber­man / risport­

Af­ter fall­ing be­hind by a goal in the first half, Lin­coln re­sponded with three goals over the fi­nal 43 min­utes of Thurs­day af­ter­noon’s Di­vi­sion I con­test with Coventry. The Lions earned a 3-3 draw headed into Mon­day’s game against Cum­ber­land.

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