BURRILLVILLE — Burrillville High beat the darkness. It just couldn't beat its opponent.
No. 7 seed West Warwick High gave the second-seeded Broncos a quick exit in the postseason with a 3-2 overtime victory Monday afternoon in the Division III quarterfinals. Senior captain Rebecca Pacheco out-hustled two defenders and nailed the clincher over the head of goalie Vicki Libby just two minutes into the second mandatory OT period.
“It just came down to who wanted it more,” said Bronco head coach Amy Cardone. “It was pretty close up until the very end.”
Burrillville, which posted a 14-2 mark in the league for second place behind unbeaten defending state titlist Narragansett, earned a bye into the postseason. The Broncos were playing their first game since suffering a 10-4 loss to the first-place Mariners on Oct. 26.
“I think we played very well,” said Wizards' coach Daniel Lima, whose squad defeated Masters, 3-0, in a preliminary game last week, “This is a tough team. They have been very, very consistent. I think the time off maybe hurt them a little bit. We hung in there. They had their chances but we didn't give up.”
The Broncos squandered most of those chances in the first half, a 40-minute session that ended in a scoreless tie.
“There were a lot of chances and we came close,” Cardone said. '”We just couldn't put it in in the first half.”
The Broncos were the first to put a number on the scoreboard in the second half with sophomore Taylor Ross scoring off an assist from sophomore Rachel DeRotto about 10 minutes after the break. The Wizards responded just a few minutes later with senior Morgan Rossi nailing an unassisted tally.
Just a minutes after missing a breakaway attempt, senior Paige Oram gave Burrillville a 2-1 edge at the 76th minute. Oram got the ball from the right side, a few yards from the corner of the box, and booted a hard-liner that hit the left post and ricochet into the back of the net. That lead would be short-lived, however, as Rossi came up with her second score of the afternoon with a high-rising shot from about 12 yards that was out of the range of Libby.
“That was an incredible goal,” Lima said. “She did not want to give up the season. That was a one-touch ball. I don't think their goalie could even see that coming. She blasted it in the dark.”
A minute into the first 10-minute overtime, Burrillville nearly got it third goal with a high-lobbing shot that was caught by Wizards' keeper Kaylee Miller. Midway into the period, Bronco defender Isis Van Putten prevented West Warwick sophomore Kendra Quimby from a one-on-one opportunity by booting the ball away.
The heartbreaker for the Broncos happened quickly as Pacheco came barreling through from the left side with her eyes clearly on the cage.
“She beat the first defender and the second defender,” Lima said. “She took her time and got it in between her legs.”
The devastating loss puts a halt to what has been a superb season by the Broncos.
“We had a great season,” Cardone said. “Obviously it didn't end how we wanted it to but I am very proud how my girls played all season. They shouldn't hang their heads down.”