East Providence High School boys’ soccer opens ’12 season with two wins

East Providence High School's Kevin Santos crosses a ball against Cumberland Monday night. Santos' goal three minutes into the contest proved the game-winning tally in the Townies' 4-0 victory. East Providence High School's Kevin Santos crosses a ball against Cumberland Monday night. Santos' goal three minutes into the contest proved the game-winning tally in the Townies' 4-0 victory.

East Providence High School’s Kevin Santos crosses a ball against Cumberland Monday night. Santos’ goal three minutes into the contest proved the game-winning tally in the Townies’ 4-0 victory.

EAST PROVIDENCE —The East Providence High School boys’ soccer team began the home portion of its 2012 Division I regular slate Monday night, Sept. 10, with a 4-0 victory against visiting Cumberland at Pierce Stadium, the Townies’ second win in as many games to date this fall.

Kevin Santos’ tally in just the third minute of the contest proved to be the game-winning goal. Ryan Costa added another only two minutes later. E.P. would take the 2-0 lead to intermission.

In the second half, Nick Lopes made the score 3-0 locals with his goal in the 50th minute. Randy Kouadio closed the scoring with his tally in the 60th. Chris Moura posted the cleansheet in the E.P. net.

“For us to win at home is one of our goals, to take all the points at home, and we succeeded at that tonight,” said EPHS head coach Tony Vieira. “I told the guys we need to win our games at home this year, especially playing only 14 regular season games. Winning at home is very important.”

The Townies were on the front foot from the opening kick-off. They maintained a thorough edge in possession throughout the entire night, but especially early and that pressure led to the two quick goals.

Santos netted his tally unassisted three minutes in. A few minutes later, Brandon Pietruszka’s throw-in led to Costa’s header for the second E.P. The same duo accounted for a near identical tally in the Townies’ season-opening victory over Hope last Friday afternoon.

Vieira called Lopes’ goal 10 minutes into the second half the “prettiest” of the night. The Townies built up their attack with possession in the midfield. Kyle Medeiros then switched the ball cross field to Lopes, who dribbled 1-v-1 on a Cumberland defender before beating the Clippers’ keeper with a side volley.

Up a commanding 3-0, Kouadio added an emphatic fourth goal, heading in another Pietruszka throw-in with about 10 minutes remaining in the contest.

The Townies improved to 2-0 on the young Division I season. East Providence heads back out on the road Wednesday, Sept. 12, for a game against Chariho in Wood River Junction at 6:30 p.m. The Townies remain away from home Tuesday, Sept. 18, against Central in Providence at 4:15. E.P. is back at Pierce Stadium opposite visiting Central Falls Thursday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m.

Opening win

Goals by sophomore Ryan Costa and junior Nick Lopes lifted the East Providence High School boys’ soccer team past host Hope High in the 2012 Division I season-opening match for both sides played Friday afternoon, Sept. 7.

Costa’s tally came off a corner kick by senior Randy Kouadio in the 18th minute of the first half. Costa headed in the goal to complete the set piece. Lopes’ goal came in the 65th minute of the second half. He received a through-ball from senior Sean Bernardo, dribbled by the on-rushing Hope goalkeeper then slipped the ball into the open net.

The Blue Wave made things a bit interesting late, scoring on a penalty kick in the 76th minute. The shot, however, was the only one on 10 Hope put on frame that Townies’ senior keeper Chris Moura did not stop.

“Obviously for us, it’s a step in the right direction,” said EPHS head coach Tony Vieira, beginning his third season at the helm of the Townies. “It’s the first time in my three years as the head coach we’ve won the first game of the season. The guys are excited. It capped off what was a great preseason. It’s a continuation of all the hard work they’ve already put in this summer.”

The Townies return to action Monday night, Sept. 10, as they open the home portion of their schedule at Pierce Stadium against Cumberland at 7 o’clock.

Season preview

Colby Sousa and George Osei are the Townies’ co-captains and two of 14 seniors on the roster. Sousa is a four-year starter in the defensive back four, this year manning the central defense position. Osei, likewise a four-year varsity player, is playing central midfield.

The back line for East Providence is where the Townies have the most experience and where the experience lay in the team. Besides Sousa and Moura, seniors Ricky Martins (center back) and Brandon Pietruszka (left back) are three-year starters. First-year varsity player junior Ethan Gervais plays right back.

The Townies are counting on their defense to hold firm while its group of inexperienced players at the front of their 4-4-2 set learn the ropes. East Providence lost its top three scorers (Nickki Dorbor, Brandon Braga and Ade Adewusi) from a year ago to graduation. Bernardo is the leading returner scorer, netting three goals last fall.

“The back line is where the strength of the team is right now,” Vieira said. “The big thing with us right now is trying to replace the scoring we lost from last year. But the younger guys are starting to step up. They’ll get it done.”

East Providence, which narrowly missed out on the postseason a year ago finishing with a 7-8-3 record, has eyes on getting back to the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

“Definitely no worse than getting in the playoffs. We’re a playoff team,” Vieira said confidently about the ’12 Townies. “Our first goal is to get into the playoffs and once we get in to make some noise because we’re definitely capable of winning games in the state tournament.”

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