KINGSTON – Fifth-seeded North Smithfield survived a tight, back-and-forth battle with No. 4 seed La Salle Academy in its Division I quarterfinal matchup Friday night, leaving Boss Arena with a 3-2 overtime win in the best-of-3 series.
High-scoring senior Kayla Kiernan netted the game-winner when she scored just four minutes into the OT period off the Rams’ standout goalie Holly Scott. Keirnan tally came after several attempts by the Northmen near the crease.
“It was a mess in front of the net,” said N.S. coach Bill Nangle. “We just kept banging away and she scored on the five-hole.”
North Smithfield took a 1-0 advantage after the first period when sophomore Sam Archambault scored at 12:21 off an assist from junior Hannah Decelles. The Rams tied the score in the second period on a goal from Taylor Holt at 2:20.
“We had way more penalties than we should have in the period,” Nangle said. “We were short in the period for nearly eight minutes.”
Keirnan, who set the state record for career goals this season, gave North Smithfield a 3-2 lead midway into the third period on an unassisted score. The Rams’ Karoline Inman sent the game into OT with less than four minutes remaining.
Senior Amanda Dube, junior Cara Figuerido and Archambault were solid defensively for the Northmen.
North Smithfield had to contend with another outstanding night for Scott, who had 47 saves. N.S. goalie Britney Evangelista had 25 stops.
The Lady Northmen will attempt to sweep the series tonight at the R.I. Sports Center. Face-off is at 6:35 p.m.
“I think it’s going to be a battle between two teams that are exhausted right now,” Nangle said. “The key for us is we have to get some rest, drink some fluids and just come out fast in the first period.”
North Smithfield 1-0-1-1 – 3
La Salle 0-1-1-0 – 2
First period -1. NS. Samantha Archambault (Hannah Decelles) 12:21.
Second period – 2. L, Taylor Holt (A. Sorensen) 2:20.
Third period – 3. NS, Kayla Keirnan (unassisted) 8:03; 4. L, Karoline Inman (Lauren Abbenante, Jordan Moore) 11:34.
Overtime – 5. NS, Keirnan (Jessica Salisbury) 4:14.
Saves – NS, Britney Evangelista 25. L, Holly Scott 47. Shots – NS 49. L 28.