Mounties blow away Toll Gate
MSC finishes perfect week with 5-0 victory
WOONSOCKET — What a difference a week makes.
Eight days ago, the Mount St. Charles boys soccer team trudged off the field against Westerly and made the long trek back up Interstate 95 on the back of the Mounties’ second straight defeat to fall below .500.
Friday afternoon, the Mounties sprinted off their home field after a 5-0 pasting of Toll Gate. The victory finishes off a seven-day stretch where the Mounties defeated West Warwick and previously unbeaten Wheeler to move into the hunt for a home quarterfinal contest.
“More patience with our offensive attack has improved a lot since the beginning of the season,” Mount St. Charles coach Paul Jacques said. “Early in the season, we would rush and rush and rush. Now, we’re looking for more quality shots, as opposed to quantity.
“I really like the play of Dre Danneker in the center of midfield with Nate Bursell. They have solidified the middle. I moved Bursell out of the back and that has really helped us.”
Mount St. Charles (4-2-1 Division II) is playing its best soccer since claiming the 2015 Division II title. The Mounties sit five points behind reigning Division II champion Moses Brown and three points behind undefeated Smithfield.
The Mounties can take a big step toward a bye in the first round with Coventry and fourth-place Cranston West on the docket next week. The Oakers make the trip to Logee Street on Monday before the Mounties travel to the Hope Road Soccer Complex on Wednesday.
“We need to keep our composure next week because that isn’t going to be an easy week,” Jacques said. “Cranston West just had a huge win against Mt. Hope and we’re playing away, so that will be a tough game. Coventry always plays us hard, but luckily that game is here. It should be a battle though.”
Toll Gate (1-5-1 Division I) showed Thursday night in a 2-2 tie with the Sentinels that their capable of playing with the best teams in the division. But, the Titans showed up late for the contest and were never really a threat to the Mounties.
The home side dominated the opening 20 minutes, but poor crosses and the play of Toll Gate goalie Brandon Franco (14 saves), kept the game scoreless. The Mounties finally took advantage of their chances in the 23rd minute when senior Chris Ciullo curled in a free kick from the right side that Jake MacKinnon redirected into the net.
“I wasn’t looking directly for Jake, but I was aiming for that side of the goal,” Ciullo said. “Lately, we’re just moving the ball better and pressing up higher as a team. We’re getting more opportunities because of that.”
Ciullo used his 300-meter speed to double the lead 10 minutes later. The midfielder found some space in the middle of the field and dribbled past a number of Titan defenders before blasting a shot past the helpless Franco.
Mount increased its lead to 3-0 just before the half when Martin Payette used his superb foot skills to corral a ball in the box and fire a low shot past Franco.
Jacques was happy with the way his team played, especially since they had to warm up twice after the Titans showed up five minutes before the original start time of 4.
“One thing we stressed at practice yesterday and one thing we stressed
“One thing we stressed at practice yesterday and one thing we stressed in the locker room before we came down here was we can’t have a let up.”
– Paul Jacques
in the locker room before we came down here was we can’t have a let up,” Jacques said. “We knew they had a big tie with Smithfield, but we needed to be focused. It was tough after we had to start and stop warming up.”
Senior forward John Collins was involved in both second half goals before Jacques emptied his bench for the final 20 minutes. After a Mount corner kick wasn’t cleared out of the box, Collins finished off a Danneker pass. Collins found senior midfielder Jake Lawrence for a goal 12 minutes later to finish the scoring.
Mount sophomore goalie Jake Maddalena made five saves and has now allowed just one goal in the last three games. Maddalena’s four shutouts this season are also a credit to a defensive unit led by senior Dawson Danneker, sophomore Nate Leclaire, Ciullo and MacKinnon.
‘This is what I expected of this group, especially the way we’re passing the ball,” Jacques said. “We’re good at passing the ball. Plus, Nate Leclaire has really solidified our defense since we moved Bursell to the midfield.”