PROVIDENCE â€” Cumberland missed a chance to improve its playoff seeding on Monday when it played a 1-1 tie with Hope High, which brought a 1-13-2 record into the regular season finale.
â€śWe didnâ€™t help ourselves today,â€ť Cumberland coach John Lopes said afterwards. â€śWe had a chance to move up in the seedings if we won and got some help from someone else but we played flat for all but about five minutes of todayâ€™s game.â€ť
Hope took a 1-0 lead 10 minutes into the first half on a goal by Vanio DosSantos. Cumberland controlled most of the action in the second half but couldnâ€™t finish off its scoring chances.
The Clippers, who finished 9-5-4 in the regular season, tied the game 12 minutes into the second half on an unassisted goal by Ryan Rei.
The match played out evenly with Cumberland taking 10 shots on the Hope goal and the Blue Wave sending nine at the Clippersâ€™ net. Cumberland goalie Remi Lussier made eight saves. Airton Alfame made six saves for the Blue Wave.
The stalemate ended a five-game winning streak that took Cumberland from out of the playoff picture into the lower half of the eight-team bracket. The field will be seeded today with the quarterfinals scheduled to begin on Friday. Cumberland could finish as high as sixth seed, or as low as eighth seed, depending upon results of Monday nightâ€™s games.
â€śWe had been clicking on all cylinders the last few weeks,â€ť Lopes said. â€śWe beat Bishop Hendricken and Central Falls. That really got us into the playoffs.â€ť
Central Falls, 10-2-5 heading into Monday nightâ€™s finale at South Kingstown, clinched the Division I-North title last week. Cumberland, which finished 9-5-4 on the season, took second place with 22 points.
â€śThe effort wasnâ€™t there today,â€ť Lopes said. â€śWe werenâ€™t able to practice on Sunday (due to wet fields) and that might have hurt us because we always practice the day before a game.â€ť
Lopes takes a realistic view of his teamâ€™s quarterfinal round matchup, knowing the Clippers will have to play their best game of the season to keep up with one of the stateâ€™s top teams.