Johnston spoils Cranston East's Senior Night

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The Johnston Lady Panthers beat the Cranston East Lady ’Bolts, 11-5, on Tuesday evening at Cranston Stadium. Johnston junior Grace Sarah scored six goals and one assist and sophomore Kaylee Lameiro added two goals and two assists. Senior attack Samantha Levy led East with a goal and an assist.

East senior goalkeeper Carina Gomes finished with eight saves, while Johnston’s Jacsmile Cassion, also a senior, had six stops.

Just 50 seconds into the contest, Lameiro spun past an East defender before firing into the back of the net, giving the Panthers a 1-0 edge.

East’s Brenna Rojek won the ensuing draw and passed to Levy, whose shot was denied by Cassion.

With 17:34 left in the opening half, sophomore Grace Muller scored during a free shot, putting Johnston up 2-0. Sarah won the draw after that and passed ahead to Lameiro, who scored between two defenders, giving the Panthers a 3-0 lead.

About three minutes later, East committed a foul while in the Johnston zone. The Panthers took over possession, taking the ball from one end of the field to the other when Muller heaved it to Lameiro, who then dished to Sarah for the finish, increasing Johnston’s lead to 4-0. The Panthers went up 5-0 when senior captain Veronica Lamoureux-Sloane assisted to Sarah for a point with 12:33 remaining in the first half. A few minutes later, Johnston showed good ball movement when Samantha Hardman passed to Lameiro, who then dished to Sarah for her third goal in a row. Loriann Samayoa scored during a penalty shot two minutes later, giving the Panthers a 7-0 advantage.

East got on the board when junior Jillian Fitzgerald, from behind the net, rushed in front before spinning and sniping it past Cassion with 1:57 left in the half.

A minute and a half into the second half, junior Gabriella Sauro assisted to Sarah, who netted a goal, putting Johnston up 8-1.

East started the game slow, but looked better in the second frame.

“They had a little more energy in the second half,” East head coach Howard Chun said. “First half, we came out a little flat. A lot of times we dig ourselves a big hole, so that’s part of the problem.”

With 20:25 remaining, East senior Amanda Hay buried a shot into the back of the net to cut it to 8-2.

Six minutes later, Muller passed to Sarah for a goal, extending Johnston’s lead to 9-2. Two minutes after that, DiRaimo recorded a point to put the Panthers up 10-2.

With 9:24 left, East’s Levy passed to senior captain Abbegail DeSista, who plowed through a mob of Johnston defenders in front of the net to score, pulling the ’Bolts within 10-3.

Forty seconds later, Lamoureux-Sloane assisted to Sarah, who spun between two East defenders before putting it past Gomes, earning the Panthers an 11-3 lead.

With 6:34 remaining, Hay assisted to Levy, who charged the net and scored, pulling East within 11-4. The ’Bolts would tack on another goal when junior Jorgie Pashalian scored with 1:50 remaining.

East falls to 5-6 with the loss.

With the victory, Johnston stays in second place with a record of 8-2.

“I think we’re peaking at the right time,” Johnston head coach Jay Areson said.

The Panthers entered the game after coming off an overtime loss to top-seeded Westerly last Friday. That game was a battle for first place.

“It was the best game my girls have ever played,” Areson said. “It’s tough coming back off that emotional high, but these girls were able to come together and they passed the ball around, which I’ve been trying to stress more and more. As a team concept, the more goals everybody has, the better off we are.”

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