The No. 3 seeded Cranston East Lady Bolts were narrowly defeated 2-1 by unbeaten defending champion and No. 1 seeded Tiverton during the Girls Soccer Division III Championship on Saturday evening at Cranston Stadium. That title, which was decided by penalty kicks saw East fall 7-6 in an 8-round shootout.
East freshman star Alany Avila drew a foul while she was in the box during the 60th minute, and that got the Lady Bolts a penalty shot which was taken by senior midfielder Hope Halvarson.
Halvarson fired a bullet into the right section of the net from 17 yards out and put East on top 1-0.
But with just 4:05 remaining, Tiverton deadlocked the score at 1 when Mariah Ramos, a junior forward, rocketed in a free kick from 22 yards out.
At the end of regulation, the score was still knotted at 1 and two 5-minute sudden-death overtimes wouldn’t do the trick. So, the two squads headed to a shootout.
The normal five rounds was not enough to crown a champion and it would take eight before there was one.
In the seventh round, East senior Giannie Soto had a shot denied by Tiverton sophomore goalkeeper Emma Lopes before Tigers junior forward Sydney Silvia netted the game-winner.
Lady Bolts junior keeper Zasia Barron finished with nine stops on the day while sophomore Emma Lopes had five for the Tigers.
Throughout the match, East was fearless and combative and pushed an undefeated Tiverton (18-0-1) to the brink. The Tigers are 32-0-1 in their last 32 games.
“We did,” Lady Bolts head coach Scott Maynard said. “We came in with a game plan. We were able to execute it most of the time and when we did, I felt we controlled the ball fairly well and we created opportunities for ourselves. And penalty shootouts never go to the eighth shooter. This was an exceptional game by both teams tonight.”
As the season concludes, East will graduate five seniors in Halvarson, Soto, Reagan Rojek, Phoebe Herriott, and Kailey Lenk.
“We had a lot of quality players across the board and it’s unfortunate that it ended this way,” Maynard said.
East may not have gotten the title, but they earned everybody’s respect and they had a blast while doing so.
“I couldn’t have asked to play with a better group of girls,” Rojek said. “Everyone’s just super positive with one another. And we’re happy we made it this far and got to experience this.”
To get to the title game, Avila scored an unassisted tally during East’s 1-0 semifinal victory over No. 2 Classical last Wednesday.