By ALEX SPONSELLER The Cranston East boys soccer team topped visiting rival West 2-1 over the weekend to continue its strong start to the 2020 campaign. Tied 1-1 with less than four minutes remaining in regulation, the Bolts would get the game winner
By ALEX SPONSELLER The Cranston East boys soccer team topped visiting rival West 2-1 over the weekend to continue its strong start to the 2020 campaign.
Tied 1-1 with less than four minutes remaining in regulation, the Bolts would get the game winner from Carlos Andrade on a pass from Mario Meletz to wrap up the victory.
East would take an early lead on a wild goal from 43 yards out from Christian Mestre and would carry the 1-0 advantage into the halftime break. West’s Nathan Evans knotted the score early in the second half on a pass from Vinny Turchetta.
“We had a lot of chances in the first half but we couldn’t get a clear shot in the box. The West goalie (Matt Cataldi) played fantastic. The second half was pretty even, they made runs at it and (East keeper) David White played really well. They were able to tie it up and we didn’t put our heads down and kept plugging away. It was a good win for us,” said East coach Richard Grenier.
Grenier added: “The kids really have grown up quickly this year. Cranston West started five seniors, we only have one senior, so we did a good job especially in the midfield. Luis Reyes and Jose Molina played really well defensively. Sometimes you have to be opportunistic and that first goal that we scored, sometimes you just have to be lucky in a game against your rival and that gave us a lead.”
East graduated a large senior core from last year and has been relying heavily on underclassmen and one senior to start the season. Things have gone well for the Bolts, with the win over West improving its record to 2-0-1 in the division.
Grenier has been pleased with his young core.
“These kids had a lot of success at junior varsity, they only lost once all last year, so I knew what we had coming up, but that line between varsity and junior varsity is such a big line. These kids have listened to us, we’re not easy at practice, we’ll push them and let them know what they’re doing wrong. During the games, we let the kids make the decisions and they’ve been paying attention. We’ve had some great practices. I’ve been very pleased with their development,” said Grenier.
Grenier also credits senior captain Joe Lenk for his leadership in the early going.
“Our scoring has been great, we’ve spread the ball out so well and that bodes well for us and the future. We have a great leader in Joe Lenk in the back. He recognizes things so fast in the back, he clears things out so well, he’s good with the ball in the air, he’s done a great job,” said Grenier.
As East looks to stay hot and compete for a championship, the Bolts are simply happy to have a season in general and have been rolling with the punches.
“Many people were skeptical coming into the season, but it has not been bad at all,” said Grenier. “We will probably have to do this next year, so we are trying to do the best we can and now we have a system, we haven’t been taking chances. We’re doing as much as we can to make sure the kids stay healthy. The kids are used to it now that we have a routine. They’re just happy to be playing, to go to practice, to be with friends.”