Crosstown rivals Cranston East and Cranston West joined forces on Saturday and took on Pilgrim and Toll Gate during the first-ever Lacrosse Border/Charity Cup at Cranston Stadium. Tickets were $5 at the gate and the proceeds went to the Gianna Cirella Memorial Fund.
The Charity Cup replaces Cranston’s City Cup and will be played annually. According to East head coach Howard Chun and West head coach Bianca Madonna, next year Cranston will pick a charity to donate the game’s ticket sales toward.
“It was a phenomenal experience,” Toll Gate varsity girls lax head coach Jim Areson said. “I am really thankful to Cranston’s Athletic Director Mike Traficante, for organizing this. It was a great experience. I really enjoyed having both teams together. It was fun.”
There were four games played in total with the boys and girls junior varsity and varsity programs.
The girls varsity game was a thrilling back-and-forth battle where Cranston skimmed past Warwick 14-13 during a three-minute sudden-death overtime period after East sophomore Savana Lavimodiere finished with the game-winner, 48 seconds in.
“That was actually a nice result,” Chun said afterwards. “They actually got along and they were on the sidelines talking to each other and hanging out. So, we don’t play each other, but I like it. They worked well together. We had quite a few East-West assist scores.”
Madonna feels that camaraderie is what earned Cranston the win.
“I think that even though we’re rivals, we came together on the field as one team and I think that that’s what won the game honestly,” Madonna said.
The Game MVP Awards went to West junior Isabella Tavares, who scored six goals and Pilgrim junior Anna D’Angelo, who recorded five scores.
Cranston lent Warwick East junior varsity goaltender Marissa North, and she didn’t disappoint. North finished the game with 12 saves.
“She played amazing,” Pilgrim head coach Jessica McCaughey said. “She did awesome. I was blown away by her. She did so well. I was so impressed.”
Splitting time in net for Cranston was West starter Caitlyn Mariano and East starter Bernadette Linsangan.
Warwick took a 1-0 advantage, 35 seconds into the contest when Alyssa Giguere, a Pilgrim junior, fired a shot into the back of the cage.
Fourteen seconds later, Warwick added to its lead when Pats senior Alyssa Peixinho, rifled a shot past Mariano and upped the Warwick margin to 2-0.
Five minutes later, Cranston pulled within 2-1 when Abbi Sampson spun and dished to fellow West senior Lexie Hammond, who put the biscuit in the basket. Sampson totaled three assists on the day.
With 12:31 remaining in the first half, Cranston evened the score at 2 when Tavares registered a wraparound tally.
Nine seconds after that, Cranston drew a 3-2 margin when Tavares, one-bounced a shot past North while on the doorstep.
Warwick deadlocked the game at 3 with 10:54 left after Pilgrim senior Lila Giguere rifled a free position shot into the cage.
A minute later, East sophomore Abbi Cahill assisted in front to West’s Sophia Estrella for a goal, and that put Cranston up 4-3.
With 5:59 remaining in the first frame, Cahill scored one of her own, and that extended the Cranston cushion to 5-3.
Then, with 4:16 left, D’Angelo earned a tally during a free position and got Warwick within one.
Then, Cahill answered again for Cranston and restored their lead to two, at 6-4.
Warwick cut the deficit to 6-5 with 1:12 remaining in the half when Peixinho socked a shot past Mariano.
Then, with 31 seconds left, Warwick deadlocked the game at 6 when D’Angelo raced to the cage and ripped a shot past the keeper.
Nonetheless, with 18.3 seconds remaining, Tavares accepted a pass from Sampson and sprinted to the cage before blasting a shot past North, and giving Cranston a 7-6 lead, which they brought into the break.
Fifteen seconds into the second frame, Cranston extended its advantage to 8-6, when Tavares put a leaping shot past North.
A minute and forty-one seconds later, Alyssa Giguere pulled the Pats within 8-7 when she ripped a bullet past Linsangan.
Then, with 22:26 remaining, Cranston took a 9-7 lead after Tavares lit the lamp.
A minute and nine seconds after that, Warwick got a goal from Nicole Proccaccini and pulled within 9-8.
Then, with 18 minutes remaining, Warwick tied the game at 9 when D’Angelo recorded back-to -back goals, which put Warwick on top 10-9.
Forty seconds after that, Tavares scored for Cranston during a free position and knotted the score at 10.
Next, Lila Giguere put Warwick up 11-10 with 13:01 left.
Five minutes after that Cranston’s Allie Notarianni raced down and snuck the ball past North and knotted the game at 11.
Warwick took a 12-11 edge with 5:59 remaining in regulation when D’Angelo lit the lamp after an inbound pass.
But 53 seconds later, Lavimodiere scored during a free position and evened the score at 12.
Lavimodiere struck again fifty-nine seconds after that, and gave Cranston a 13-12 advantage, following an assist from Tavares.
Then, with 2:34 on the clock, Warwick’s Procaccini found the back of the cage for her second score, and knotted the game at 13, forcing overtime.
Nonetheless, forty-eight seconds in, Lavimodiere rifled a shot past North and gave Cranston the 14-13 victory.
After the win, Lavimodiere was ecstatic and gave credit to her team.
“I wouldn’t be able to do it without my team,” Lavimodiere stated. “We all worked together and we ended up coming out strong.”
While Lavimodiere and the other Cranston players may have been a little reluctant to team up with their counterparts, it turned out to for a fantastic game.
“I think everyone was a little bit iffy about it at first, but it was a blast,” Lavimodiere said. “I had so much fun playing with West. It was actually an honor to be able to play with them and I think we all collaborated really well and played a good game against Warwick.”
The Cranston boys cruised their way to a 15-9 win later in the day.
“It was great to see two teams that are rivals play and celebrate together,” said West coach Justin Erickson, “These kids grew up playing lacrosse together, so for them to get to play with each other one more time, especially the seniors, it was cool to see.”
Jaycob Hargreaves led the way with five goals for Cranston while Mark Doire had four.