WOONSOCKET --- She didn’t have to turn in the same remarkable effort she did in her 58-save performance against Mount St. Charles last weekend, but Britney Evangelista was still outstanding in net for North Smithfield in Friday night’s meeting with Lincoln.
The sophomore netminder turned away 32 shots and frustrated one of the top lines in the state to help the Northmen claim a 4-0 triumph over the first-year Lions at Adelard Arena and snap a five-game losing streak.
Offensively, the Northmen, who produced just three goals during their losing streak, broke through behind the efforts of seniors Nicole Dumais (goal, two assists) and Hannah Decelles (three assists), but the story of the night was the play of Evangelista, who leads the state with 204 saves.
“She’s unbelievable,” added N.S. coach Bill Nangle. “She’s a great athlete, a heck of a goaltender, and a great kid who takes it all in stride. She goes out there and she knows she’s going to see a lot of shots. She just keeps making save after save and she does it with a smile on her face.”
The Lions (1-4), who are led by veteran head coach Dick Ernst, outshot the Northmen, 32-24, with the bulk of their shots coming from the high-scoring first line of junior captain Jean Bray (six goals, five assists) and freshmen Cassidy DiPaola (six goals) and Marissa Mancini (six assists).
“Isn’t that great?” Ernst said with a smile. “When we played them in the first game of the year (a 4-0 win by N.S.), they outshot us 2-1. This was our fifth game and you can tell that our team has just improved tremendously. I’m very proud of my players.”
The Lions also received a solid game from their goalie, Ashley Devolve, who was also the goalie on the Lions’ field hockey team that reached the Division I playoffs this past fall. She ended her night with 20 stops.
“They’re doing a great job for a first-year team,” Nangle added of Lincoln. “They have some good players that are fun to watch and their goaltender’s getting better and better. They’re going to be a good team by the end of the year, so I give them a lot of credit.”
DiPaola nearly had the first goal of the game midway through the first period when she took a pass from Bray and took a shot on Evangelista just five feet in front of the net, but she fired it over the net.
But the Northmen then netted their first goal with 1:23 to go in the first period on a shorthanded goal by Sam Archambault, who received a pass from behind the net by Decelles and slipped a soft shot past Devolve’s left pad.
Dumais then made it a 2-0 game with an unassisted goal 24 seconds into the second period, and Alia Cardello scored N.S.’s third goal (and the first of her varsity career) less than five minutes later by tapping in a pass by Dumais.
The Northmen’s final goal came from freshman Siobhan Kiernan, who lit the lamp for the first time in her young varsity career with a wrist shot in traffic that deflected off handle of Devolve’s stick and sailed into the net.