Mariners score two set-piece goals to sink Burrillville
Broncos still battling for home quarterfinal
BURRILLVILLE — In the previous two days, the Burrillville boys and girls soccer teams have held their own against talented opponents in open play.
Set pieces, however, were a different story.
Just one day after the Burrillville girls were done in by a penalty kick against Scituate, the Bronco boys failed to properly defend a corner kick and a long throw in and that proved to be their undoing against Narragansett Wednesday afternoon at Gledhill Field.
The visiting Mariners scored just 11 minutes into the Division III contest when Jack Lurgio headed in an Austin Pratt corner kick and then in the 70th minute, Lurgio returned the favor when his long throw in found the head of Pratt for an insurance goal in a 2-0 victory.
“It looked like we weren’t ready to play,” said Burrillville assistant coach Paulo Macedo, who was handling most of the caching duties while coach John LaFauci recovers from knee replacement surgery. “We were missing one of our better players [ Camden Harrigan], but we should play a lot better than we did. We didn’t dominate anything.”
“We did well in the air,” Narragansett coach Ryan Kanaczet said.
“We were down a couple of kids who were sick today, but Lurgio really stepped up today because we didn’t have Ben Reddington. We also didn’t have our leading goal scorer, Kaelin (Kilroy), but we have a lot of guys who can put the ball in the net.”
Burrillville (6-3-1 Division II) are battling Pilgrim and St. Raphael for a home quarterfinal and the Broncos still have winnable matches left against Woonsocket, Tiverton and struggling Scituate. The Broncos have now gone three games without a victory after a draw with Davies and a 2-1 defeat to undefeated Cranston East.
Macedo knows with seniors Ben Lamoureaux and Justin Krieg along with a host of talented underclassmen the Broncos have enough talent to return to the Division III semifinals for a third straight season.
“Other than today, I think we’re doing all right. We have a good, solid squad,” Macedo said. “We just have to keep staying focused and keep with the game plan.”
Narragansett (8-1-2 Division II) is battling Ponaganset for the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. The Mariners currently have a three-point lead over the Chieftains, while the Mariners trail the Thunderbolts by eight points. The top two teams in the division will meet in ’Gansett next Thursday. First, though, the Mariners have to face reigning Division III champion Davies.
“We just need to make sure everyone gets healthy,” Kanaczet said. “We need to continue to combine our passes and find feet. We need to be more advantageous when we have chances. We can get a little predictable like today where we played a lot of 50-50 balls. We had to do that today to get points with Jack not being in the middle.”
Burrillville’s best chance to score came in the seventh minute when junior Devin Morrison played a cross to the penalty spot where Nick Hammond fired a shot over goalie Jack Betts’ net. The only other Bronco chance in the first half came in the 31st minute when Nick Gosselin had a close-range shot blocked by Betts.
The Mariners didn’t have many chances, but they capitalized in the 11th minute when Lurgio jumped above his mark and headed a Pratt corner kick past Lamoureaux.
Neither team created many chances in the second half, but for the second time in the match, the Mariners took advantage of one of their few chances. Lurgio fired a throw in from the right touchline that was headed to the right of Lamoureaux by Pratt with just 10 minutes left.
“I’m excited about the way we played and Jack made some great saves,” Kanaczet said. “I feel like we’re right where we should be in the division. We have Davies later this week and I’ll take the [Bill] Belichick approach and just focus on the next game against Davies.”
The Broncos had one more chance in the 78th minute, but Paulo Mello’s 30-yard free kick was gobbled up by Betts. The Broncos head to Tiverton Friday night.