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NARRAGANSETTâ€”How a team views a tie is all about how it happens.
The Narragansett boys soccer team, for example, was more than happy to leave Tuesdayâ€™s home contest against Mount Pleasant with a 1-1 decision thanks to some late heroics from senior Alec Cotroneo.
â€śThe good news is weâ€™ll get a point out of it,â€ť Narragansett coach Ryan Kanaczet said. â€śWe donâ€™t know what the bad news is because we donâ€™t know how this teamâ€™s going to fare.
â€śâ€¦Hopefully this team is a top five team in the division and we can say that tie wasnâ€™t that bad.â€ť
As the red numbers on the scoreboard at Tom Ashley Field glared â€“ frozen at 2:00 to signal the remaining time would be kept on the field by officials â€“ Cotroneo turned and fired a shot from 25 yards out along the right edge of the goal box.
â€śI honestly just turned and hit it,â€ť Cotroneo said. â€śI knew where to hit it on my foot but I didnâ€™t really look up until after I kicked the ball.â€ť
The shot couldnâ€™t have been better, soaring over the top of the Kiltiesâ€™ keeper and into the back of the net, sending the Narragansett players into shocked jubilation.
â€śIâ€™m just happy we tied,â€ť Cotroneo said, â€śbecause I feel we should have beaten this team from the beginning.
â€śâ€¦[Corner kicks] were really all our offense today and I guess that shot was just a lucky a shot. We were lucky we made it to a tie and we just need to work on offensive position for the rest of the season.â€ť
It was one point in the standings the Mariners very nearly didnâ€™t get as for some time it appeared as if Mount Pleasant was going to leave South County with a victory.
After neither team scored in the first half the Kilties had a golden opportunity in the 45th minute on a scrum inside the Marinersâ€™ 18-yard line.
â€™Gansett sophomore goalkeeper Austin McKanna â€“ who had his fare share of game-saving stops Tuesday â€“ made a save on an initial shot that pulled him away from the goal line, leaving the net unprotected.
The Kilties got a second shot on net in McKannaâ€™s absence but fortunately for the Mariners defenseman Kyle Frankovich had alertly slid back to the goal line, where he stopped the attempt and a follow up before â€™Gansett cleared the threat.
â€śThey had some big stops in the back,â€ť Kanaczet said. â€śMy back four played a great game. Some mistakes here and there but weâ€™ll fix them and go from there.â€ť
Narragansett nearly turned good defense into a goal at the other end but Jonathan Rostâ€™s shot from inside 15 yards along the left side was turned away by Mount Pleasantâ€™s keeper.
The two teams had some minor chances over the next 20 minutes before the Kilties finally broke the scoreless tie in the 65th minute.
After drawing a direct kick just outside the right corner of the box, Mount Pleasant sent the ball over Narragansettâ€™s four-player wall and into the middle of the box.
After some initial jockeying for possession amongst red and white jerseys the ball trickled out to the 18-yard line where the Kiltiesâ€™ Mauro Cortez-Pacheco tucked a one-timer inside the right post for the 1-0 lead.
The Mariners had a handful of promising scoring chances â€“particularly a corner kick in the 68th minute that bounced through the Mount Pleasant box untouched â€“ but it appeared as if the Mariners were destined for the loss.
Then came Cotroneoâ€™s strike, fittingly enough finding the back of the net after traditionally better scoring chances had come and gone all game for the Mariners.
â€śWe were close on a couple,â€ť Kanaczet said of his teamâ€™s inability to take advantage of corner kicks. â€śThere should have been two or three goals on them to be honest with you and that would have changed the whole outcome of the game.â€ť
Narragansett (1-0-1 Division II, 2-1-1 overall) will look to put its unbeaten league record on the line today at 4 p.m. when it travels to Woonsocket for a match with Mount St. Charles.