Soccer girls sweep Toll Gate 2-0 in season finale
The North Kingstown Girls Varsity soccer team played their regular season finale Oct. 25 at home. The Skippers were able to finish a frustrating season with a shutout of Division I South Champions Toll Gate, 2-0.
After starting the season 0-7-1, the girls put together a winning record in the second half of the season, 4-3-1, including a 3-2 division record, and future standouts began to make their appearances. Former Jamestowner Kelly Scully, Renee Dubuc, Cailyn Mather along with freshmen Laura Alviti and Carly Choinski all had strong seasons, and the next few years look bright for the Skippers.
Coupled with goalkeeper Brooke Messier returning next year for her third varsity season, the defense should be formidable. Despite their losing record, North actually conceded less goals than defending state champion, and playoff bound, Scituate.
North should be returning 11 seniors next year, so the development and rebuilding from this season should begin paying dividends in the very near future.
As is tradition, the last regular season home game is Senior Night. Along with the festive decorations that adorn the stadium, there is also a recognition ceremony at halftime for the senior varsity players and their parents. Of the five seniors playing in their last game for the Skippers, three were from Jamestown. Captain Catie Kelley, Kyra Reppe, and Ashley Smith. Both Kelly and Kyra are four-year varsity players, and Smith spent two years on the varsity squad.
"It was sad to realize that I was probably playing the last competitive soccer game I will ever play," said Smith. Kelly and Reppe agreed with her sentiments and Reppe added, "It was nice to go out on a good note, though."
Kelly said the team had been such a family to her. "I have been playing with Kyra and Ashley since we were like 5-years-old playing rec soccer," she said.
The night belonged to the seniors, but Reppe stole the show.
Kelly had the first strong opportunity for North five minutes into the game. Playing out wide, she had a long run and launched a high shot just outside the 18-yardline that missed the top corner of the goal by about a foot. After the Skippers held off a few chances from Toll Gate, the game was back and forth on possession for nearly 20 minutes, with neither team getting quality chances. With about 12 minutes remaining in the first half, Reppe chased a long ball deep into the Titans end. The Toll Gate goalie came out fast initially, then second-guessed herself, and that was the difference. Reppe tapped the ball to the endline, chipped a high shot that hung in the air, then dropped in the goal off the back post for a 1-0 lead.
Four minutes later Reppe struck again. A long ball played from the North midfield was misread by the Toll Gate sweeper, and Reppe had perfect positioning. She was in alone, and just inside the 18- yardline, finished with a low, hard strike that the goalkeeper didn't react to until after it passed her, giving the Skippers the 2-0 lead.
The second half was again possession oriented for both teams, with Toll Gate resting a majority of their starters for the upcoming playoffs. Both squads, despite their record, were looking at their future. North's Taylor Bastien had some excellent chances, as did junior Hayley Lattinville, and again, the young defense for North looked strong.
After last season's semifinal appearance, despite the loss of an All- American midfielder, the expectations were high, as they should be. But with only five seniors on the squad, and plenty of young talent that got to experience the speed and intensity of Varsity soccer in Division One, rebuilding had to take priority. The foundation that was built this season should hopefully move the North Kingstown girls to next level.