WOONSOCKET -- Mount St. Charles head coach Mary Green was unsure how rain would affect her team during the Mounties’ Division III Tournament quarterfinal with Burrillville/North Smithfield Co-op, so she was hoping the storm would hold off.
She didn’t get her wish; right after the initial faceoff, the skies opened up. But her team responded to the downpour by pouring on the offense against the overmatched Broncos, scoring three goals in a 26-second span early in the first period, and rolling to a relatively easy 12-5 triumph over the Broncos
After the game, with her players hurrying up the metal stairs to their locker room to get dry – Green lingered at midfield folding up the scorers’ table and caring for scoreboard equipment.
“It was huge, what the rain did,” Green said after the victory, one that lifted MSC, the second seed from III-North, to 10-3 overall, and also secured home field for a semifinal against Pilgrim (No. 3-South) at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
“I was surprised we started so quickly; I wasn’t going to sure if we’d come out slow and lackadaisical, or they would be complaining about the weather,” she said. “Usually we start off great or really rocky, but the girls came ready to play.
“This was good. They came out flying and kept the intensity up, so I’m pretty happy.”
Sophomore middie Jordan McComb paced Mount’s overall effort with four goals, while senior quad-captain Meaghan Walsh chipped in a hat trick and an assist and junior attacker Shaina Bauersachs a tally and five assists.
Bauersachs’s classmate, Ally Goralski, manufactured a goal and a feed in the decision.
Burrillville/North Smithfield, which started slowly, got two goals each from senior captain Brittney Bebeau and junior Isis VanPutten. They closed their campaign at 3-10 overall.
Fellow junior Taylor Duquette recorded 13 saves, though only five in the opening stanza, for the Broncos. On the other side, senior quad-captain and netminder Rachel Leclaire mustered 16, most of those in the last session.
Both Mount and Burrillville/North Smithfield earned terrific chances in the first 90 seconds. McComb’s penalty shot with 1:51 elapsed sailed over the crossbar.
Less than two minutes later, Walsh took a pass from Bauersachs and ripped a shot past Duquette for the 1-0 lead. Six seconds later, Bauersachs gained possession and delivered a pretty pass to McComb, who rifled it home to put Mount up 2-0.
Just 20 seconds after that, McComb bounced an unassisted goal into the netting, and the rout was on.
Senior Lily Forti appeared to have put the Broncos on the scoreboard at the 9:23 mark when she looped around the net, juked past two defenders and fired a point-blank try at Leclaire, but the MSC keeper made a phenomenal crown save. As they did all afternoon, the Mounties would again capitalize on the Bronco’s missed opportunity.
Forty-one seconds later, Bauersachs fed Walsh with a superb pass and the latter drove it in, while McComb tallied another 20 seconds later when she rushed downfield on a breakaway and planted one.
Nearly three minutes later, with 11:48 remaining before the break, Walsh snapped a right-side attempt past Duquette, but that’s when – the score 6-0 – the two referees halted the match due to the heavy rains.
The delay lasted nearly 45 minutes, players from both teams seeking shelter in the gymnasium foyer. They were there perhaps a half-hour, and that’s when the head official led all back to the field, where Mount athletic director Ray Leveille – with some help – spread quick-dry material at both goal creases and the faceoff circle at midfield.
Exactly 2:54 after it resumed, Burrillville/North Smithfield sliced the deficit to five when VanPutten slipped a high shot past Leclaire, with 9:46 left, but the Mounties returned the favor.
Bauersachs snatched her own rebound in front of the net and shoved it home with 8:54 remaining, and McComb made it 8-1 after she hustled around the cage and shoveled a bouncer past Duquette.
Both McComb and sophomore Samantha McPhee had great chances on net early into the second stanza, but they went awry. It seemed as if the Broncos may get a break when officials whistled Goralski for a two-minute slashing penalty with 3:33 elapsed.
The time on the sidelines seemed to bother Goralski, as she scooped up a turnover in front of Duquette and roped a high shot under the crossbar with 18:09 left.
Sophomore Carly Imbriani bounced in an unassisted goal 13 seconds later, and senior quad-captain Lauren Caruso recorded her first score of the afternoon with 14:08 remaining to give MSC a commanding 11-1 advantage.
It came off a stellar pass from Goralski.
At that point, the refs told the scorekeeper to run the clock, as Interscholastic League rules dictate when one squad has a 10-goal cushion, but Burrillville/North Smithfield began to surge.
Bebeau didn’t need long to manufacture her second, though McPhee answered a couple of minutes after to make it 12-2. Van Putten and junior Emily Cardon both scored in the final 3:07 for, perhaps, a bit of consolation.
“The downpour didn’t help us,” stated Broncos’ coach Pam Etheridge. “At halftime, I just told them to play their game and control the ball. We actually have a very young team.”
Assistant Linda Drapeau then offered, “We’ve only been on the varsity level for two years, and at least half our team is playing their first season. We don’t have a ton of experience.”
That’s when Etheridge noted with a chuckle, “Our goalie played pretty well once she got out of the mud pit.”
Once it ended, Green couldn’t say enough about how well her defense stymied the opponent’s attack – excepting, of course, the final 10-12 minutes. She lauded the play of McPhee, junior Dorothea Moniz, McComb, Imbriani, sophomore Lauren Piette and junior Lillie Carnes.
“I would say Sam had a great game,” Green indicated. “She usually plays the defensive wing on our attack. Most of the girls want to play attack, naturally, because they have the chance to score. I assigned Sam the task of playing against the other team’s top scorer, and she accepted it with a smile.”