2009-10-08 / News

Skippers pull out a tie against Central Falls Warriors

By Adrienne Downing

Islander Sam Baines shows off his skills during North Kingstown High School’s recent game against the Central Falls Warriors. Photo by Adrienne Downing Islander Sam Baines shows off his skills during North Kingstown High School’s recent game against the Central Falls Warriors. Photo by Adrienne Downing Friday afternoon was a game of almosts for the North Kingstown High School boys’ soccer team. North hosted Central Falls, a team that has historically been tough for the Skippers.

An early first-half goal put the Warriors on top 1-0, and left the Skippers to spend most of the game trying to make up the defi- cit.

With 12:07 remaining in the first half, a North Kingstown shot bounced off the Warriors goalie and caught enough of the goal post to make it roll just wide for the miss.

The Skippers had three more shots before halftime, including one hard shot with 2:51 remaining, that were just centimeters shy of being the tying goal for North.

“We have had a rollercoaster season. Our effort hasn’t been as consistent as it should be, but this was the first game where I saw good effort through the whole game,” Head Coach Kyle Froberg said. “I told them at halftime that they were playing well, but they had to bring up the effort level just a little more and they responded.”

North came out shooting in the second half, but it took until 7:24 remaining for senior Andy Hess to finally hammer one home to tie the game for the Skippers.

“I tell the team we are not out there to tie games, we are out there to win them. So I was glad they were not happy to just rest on the tie,” Froberg said.

Hess almost scored the winning shot with a screamer that ricocheted off of the crossbar, but the Skippers had to settle for the tie, bringing their record to 5-4-3.

“We made the right call by bringing Andy’s freshman brother, Chris, into that game. It changed the dynamic a little bit and gave us the boost we needed,” Froberg said.

The team’s strength this season has been its goal scoring. They have scored 32 goals in 11 games.

“We have a lot of speed up front. Andy is fast and an allaround strong player. Troy Crawford has been a pleasant surprise for us this year. He is a member of the state championship relay team and his speed has been an asset,” Froberg said.

The team has been “hot and cold” on defense this year, he said.

“It has been difficult to get the right combination of players on defense. It is something that has been a constant work in progress. We score a lot of goals, but we give up a lot as well,” he said.

Another of the team’s strengths has been islander Sam Baines.

“Sam can throw the ball a mile. He has been playing just about every minute of every game,” Froberg said.

The Skippers have been playing Baines at the center/midfield position so they can take advantage of his strengths equally on both sides of the field.

“Sam has really taken up a leadership position on the team as a senior. He is a super nice kid and he does whatever I ask him to do in the field,” Froberg said. “He has been someone to watch since his sophomore year, but he has really brought his game up a level this year.”

With five games remaining, including two against division rivals Chariho and South Kingstown, Froberg’s focus is on trying to win the division and make the playoffs.

The team lost 5-1 to Chariho in its second game of the season, but Froberg is optimistic that with the adjustments the team has made, the outcome will be different the second time around.

“We need to be able to isolate Nick Dubee and control their play down the middle. If we do that, I think we will be successful against them,” he said.

South Kingstown also likes to play through the middle and does not give up many goals, Froberg said, but the Skippers play host in round two of the North-South match-up, which may give the home team the advantage.

“Our field is wider, which gives our more skillful players more time and more space to play well. When you play on a narrow field, play can get messy and less skilled players can get away with more,” he said.

The Skippers travel to Woonsocket today, Thursday, Oct. 8, at 3:30 p.m. and host South Kingstown on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

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