North Kingstown lacrosse tackles PCD in rebuilding year
Much has been said about the North Kingstown High School boys' lacrosse team being in a rebuilding year. The Skippers were last year's state champions but they graduated seven starters, six of which were first-team All State players.
Providence Country Day School, who lost to NK last season in the semi-finals, was looking to even the score when they came to North Kingstown on Friday night.
Unlike the Skippers, PCD retained all of their starters from last year and was the favored team going into the game.
"Some people had written us off, but we talked before the season started and we said we could either rebuild or reload the gun," coach John Holmes explained. "We decided that we would reload the gun. The gun may look a little different than it did last year, but it is still a gun."
His team showed they weren't listening to what everyone else was saying before a full house on a very cold night. After not scoring in the first quarter of the game, Greg Fallon scored a goal for the Skippers early in the second quarter to tie the game at 1-1.
The Knights answered with two goals of their own, the first with five minutes remaining in the quarter and the second with 1:57 to go to take a 3-1 lead into halftime.
"I told them at the half that we needed to wear them down a little, go after the ball and be aggressive," Holmes said. "We were taking shots. It is not that they were not good shots, but they have a very good goalie."
The Skippers came back strong in the second half and held PCD scoreless for the first 4:17 of the half, but a Kam Chaffee goal put the Knights up 4-1.
The PCD goal spurred the Skippers into action, and two minutes later Mark Alemany scored for North to make the score 4-2.
Fallon, assisted by islander Ben Nadeau, brought the Skippers within one with just 12 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Less than two minutes later, North tied the game on an Andy Paolucci goal.
Alemany scored his second goal of the game to put the Skippers ahead permanently with 7:17 remaining in the game.
Fallon scored his third goal of the game to give North some insurance with just 3:23 remaining.
PCD put a lot of pressure on in the closing minutes of the game, but NK was aggressive on the attack and did not make careless turnovers.
"That was huge, just what we needed," Holmes said after the game. "This will really help our confidence level."
The coach pointed out that he was encouraged by the team's ability to hold onto the lead once they had it.
"We passed the ball around for more than three minutes, and that really wore them down. We put more pressure on the crease and our defense came up big," he said.
Nadeau, a junior in his first year with the varsity team, said the win felt good and noted that being the only Jamestown player is unique.
"It is great to be on the varsity team considering that I had never played before my freshman year," he said. A former soccer player, he was talked into joining the team in his first year at the school.
Holmes said the team's strength this year is the midfield, although he pointed out that the attack played a big role in the win.
The Skippers will travel to play Norwich Free Academy at 4 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, April 20 and will host LaSalle Wednesday, April 25, at 7 p.m.