By ALEX SPONSELLER After getting off to a bumpy start in its new division, the Toll Gate girls soccer team has turned things around and rattled off five straight wins to put itself in playoff position late this regular season. The Titans have emerged as
By ALEX SPONSELLER After getting off to a bumpy start in its new division, the Toll Gate girls soccer team has turned things around and rattled off five straight wins to put itself in playoff position late this regular season.
The Titans have emerged as a contender in Division II after bumping up from Division III. In their past five games, they have outscored opponents 21-4 including two shutouts. Toll Gate sat at 7-4-2 in league play as of Wednesday morning.
“The problem with three of our four losses is that we just couldn’t finish. One game we were up 3-1, another 2-1, and we just couldn’t find a way to finish. We worked on that a lot at practice and it all started with Woonsocket. We have finally learned how to play complete games and we are on a five-game tear,” said Toll Gate coach Bob Enright.
Much like last season, the Titans have begun peaking late in the regular season and are hoping to carry some of that momentum into the playoffs.
“We still have some room to peak, but right now we are playing at the same high level that we were last year at this time. That is a reason why we made it to the finals and won it, we started peaking at the right time. With four games left in the regular season, there are a few things I would like us to improve on, but we’re starting to peak at the right time,” said Enright. “They’re starting to pass, they’re putting together combination plays, making those crosses and finishing on those crosses that we couldn’t finish early in the season. Their chemistry is starting to click, too.”
Leading the way on offense is striker Olivia Dutra, who has already scored a whopping 18 goals this season.
“She’s as fast as fast can be. She’s that player, she’s that good,” said Enright, who has also seen other players begin to produce behind her. “Going into the season, we knew that Olivia would be there to score goals but we knew that we would need to find other people. We’re at the point where other teams are putting three, four defenders on her and she’s still scoring goals. But we know that as we begin to see these teams a second time, it won’t be easy. During these five games, we knew that we would need to find other goal scorers and we’ve accomplished that.”
One piece in particular is sophomore standout Adeline Areson.
“We now have four or five other girls that have been scoring goals. One girl that has made a big impact is Adeline Areson, she has really become a big part of our offense,” said Enright.
Keeper Maddie Clark has also been stellar as of late and currently has the second most saves in the state.
“We came into the season with three girls that could play goalie for us, and unfortunately we have dealt with injuries, but (the depth) has been as good as I thought it would be as Maddie Clark has been phenomenal. She’s making 20 saves a game, she’s just killing it. She will only get stronger too, considering she is not splitting time in net,” said Enright.
With just four games remaining, Enright hopes to see the team continue to progress and be ready to make another run toward a title in a few weeks.
“They were coming off a championship, then beat a good East Providence team to start, so they needed to be brought back down to earth a little bit. They were and they became unsure of themselves, but once they turned it around and got their confidence back, they realized that they could play in this division,” Enright said.
The team faced 13-1 Chariho on Wednesday evening, but the results were not available at press time.
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