EPHS boys’ soccer team earns Division I playoff berth

Townies defeat Classical, accrue necessary points to reach postseason

By Mike Rego
Posted 10/24/19

EAST PROVIDENCE — A few days after realizing they needed more points than they thought to earn a spot in the upcoming playoffs, the members of the East Providence High School boys’ soccer team …

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EPHS boys’ soccer team earns Division I playoff berth

Townies defeat Classical, accrue necessary points to reach postseason

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — A few days after realizing they needed more points than they thought to earn a spot in the upcoming playoffs, the members of the East Providence High School boys’ soccer team stepped up in a big way over the last week culminating in a 2-1 victory over visiting Classical Thursday afternoon, Oct. 24, at Pierce Stadium.

East Providence improved to 4-6-4 in the Division I standings with the win. More importantly, though, the locals upped their season points total to 16, two more than the minimum 14 required to qualify for the upcoming state championship tournament.

The Townies spent most of the fall thinking they only needed 13 points to reach the playoffs, but after checking with league officials on their status were told that figure had increased to 14 upon realignment of Division I to include 16 teams this season.

For Classical, the visiting Purple already had their postseason future secured entering into the game, but they missed out on the chance to potentially improve their playoff seed. The loss dropped Classical to 7-5-3 with 24 points.

“I’m happy for the guys. They deserve to be in the playoffs,” said EPHS head coach Tony Vieira. “Looking back on the season so far, we’ve been competitive in every game. Most of our losses have been by one goal. Only the Portsmouth game (a 4-0 loss) wasn’t close, but it was 0-0 at the half and the weather wasn’t ideal. I feel with can play with anybody, score goals against anybody, so we’re looking forward to the playoffs.”

Colin Capelo scored a pair of goals for the host Townies in the opening period Thursday, upping his team-best total to 12 and good for a share of the league lead with Hendricken’s Michael Hanlon.

His first came in the 25th minute on the counter following an extended amount of possession by the visiting Purple. Gabe Ferreira had the assist.

His second, which proved the game-winner off a neat feed from Ryan Moniz in the 38th minute, occurred after some nice work by the E.P. midfield contingent. Moniz received the ball from Capelo down the left wing then deftly delivered the return pass between Classical defenders to the latter, who without missing a step drilled the shot past Purple keeper James Gbaba.

“Colin Capelo, I can’t remember the last time one of our guys scored 10 goals in Division I, never mind 12,” said Vieira. “He’s tied for the league lead, and the thing is he’s playing out of the midfield. He’s definitely a high level guy. We’ve haven’t had a guy with skills like that in a while.”

Classical got one back in the final 40 minutes, but it wasn’t enough. E.P. keeper Andrew Mongeon and his counterpart Gbaba were each credited with six saves.

The win was the second in as many days for the Townies. E.P. defeated Smithfield, 4-0, on October 23. The locals actually started the week playing Moses Brown to a 1-1 tie.

“Every game for us the last few weeks has been huge and this last week has been like the playoffs. We knew if we lost, we were probably out,” Vieira added. “Our guys played with that backs against the wall mentality, they dug in.

“You obviously don’t have that same kind of urgency on September 5, at the start of the season, as you do now. We let some games slip away from us in the middle of the year. We seem to put ourselves in that position every year, but our guys responded. You have to give them credit. We found ways to get results. They hung in there and we got into the playoffs.”

East Providence has one game remaining before the playoffs, a home contest against LaSalle Saturday afternoon, Oct. 26, at Pierce at 1 p.m.

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Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.