Chargers upset Townies in girls’ soccer playoffs

Two second half goals lift Chariho past East Providence into D-II semis

By Mike Rego
Posted 11/5/19

EAST PROVIDENCE — A successful season by any measure came to a harsh conclusion for the East Providence High School girls’ soccer team Monday night, Nov. 3, at Pierce Stadium as the Townies were …

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Chargers upset Townies in girls’ soccer playoffs

Two second half goals lift Chariho past East Providence into D-II semis


EAST PROVIDENCE — A successful season by any measure came to a harsh conclusion for the East Providence High School girls’ soccer team Monday night, Nov. 3, at Pierce Stadium as the Townies were upset in the quarterfinal round of the Division II championship tournament by Chariho, 4-3.

The visiting and sixth-seeded Chargers rallied from a deficit at intermission with goals early and late in the second half to advance to the semifinals. For the third-seeded Townies, the loss was just their second all fall, ending their 2019 campaign with an 11-2-4 overall record in league games.

“First, I am extremely proud of our girls. They played with positive attitudes and effort and great resiliency and determination,” said EPHS head coach Angelo Pizzi. “Both teams left it all on the field. Chariho is a well coached team who had a final shot which put them over the top.”

Spencer Shiels potted the game’s first goal for Chariho and eventually accounted for the game-winning tally as well with under three minutes remaining. In between, Rebekah Sullivan notched the other two goals for the Chargers, giving the visitors a 2-1 lead in the first half and tying the game at 3-3 early into the second.

Three seniors playing what proved their final game for the Townies scored East Providence’s goals. Aaliyah Pattie got the locals on the board and tied the score at one midway through the first half. Just a few minutes later, Alyssa DeOliveira, who finished the season with a team-best 22 goals, brought the Townies level again at two apiece. And Ashley Cassino-Hendriquez scored the last E.P. goal late in the first, which gave the Townies their only the lead of the night, 3-2, just before the break.

Another of the nine East Providence seniors making their final appearances for the Townies, keeper Mia Jackson, was credited with 10 saves. Her counterpart in the Chariho net, Alison Klein, made four stops. Sophomore Olivia Williams assisted on all three goals for the Townies.

“This group of seniors has the distinction of winning three playoff games, one division championship and one state title. Stacie and I are honored, blessed, and privileged to have coach the Townies girls soccer team,” Pizzi added, referring to his wife and assistant coach along with the Townies’ success in recent years both in Division II and D-III, winning the championship of the latter in 2016 and finishing first there in the regular season in 2017.

Monday, Chariho, who coincidentally lost to E.P. 1-0 in the season opener for both sides back in early September, came into the game with an obvious plan of hitting the Townies on the counter.

Any chance the Chargers had to spring one of their forwards behind the E.P. defense, they took it and it led to their first goal. Shiels corralled a long clearing pass and broke in alone on Jackson, whom she easily slipped a shot to the left of the onrushing E.P. keeper for the tally in the ninth minute.

Four minutes later, Pattie, who as a freshman netted the championship-winning penalty kick for the Townies in their victory over Johnston for the D-III title, pooched a shot over Klein’s head for the tying goal. Williams delivered a picture-perfect cross from the right side, hitting her mate in stride for the opportunity.

East Providence’s elation was short lived, however, as seconds later Sullivan popped in the go-ahead goals for the Chargers off a scrum in front of Jackson.

Chariho, which earlier hit a post, nearly scored another in the 26th minute, but the goal was waved off when in the opinion of the referee a diving Jackson had the ball long enough to be considered in possession before a Charger nudged it free and into the net.

The call was fortuitous for the locals, who in the 28th minute retied the score at two. DeOliveira pounced on a pass from Williams into the clear and blistered a shot past a helpless Klein.

Within a minute the Townies were celebrating again, having taken a 3-2 lead. A third Williams delivery was finished superbly by Cassino-Henrqiuez, who gathered then spun and booted an arcing shot just off the fingertips of the Chariho keeper.

Shiels’ game-winning goal in the 77th minute of 80 was similar to her earlier tally as the Chargers’ leading scorer was able to better an East Providence defender, then beat Jackson one-on-one to finish the sequence. Shiels upped her team-best total to 12 goals. Chariho improved 11-4-2 in league games at the time of the victory.

The Chargers advanced to the semifinals Wednesday, Nov. 5, against second-seeded North Smithfield. Top-seeded and unbeaten Pilgrim met fourth-seeded Moses Brown in the other semi. The D-II championship game was scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 9, at Rhode Island College at 2 p.m.

— East Providence Post and contributing photographer Tyler Maxwell shot the accompanying gallery of photos.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.