La Salle downs Hendricken in D-I semis
The third-seeded Bishop Hendricken Hawks were eliminated from the postseason after falling to the second-seeded La Salle Academy Rams, 2-1, in the Division I boys’ soccer semifinals at East Greenwich High School on Wednesday night. La Salle junior striker Ryan Dobrzynski netted both goals for his squad.
The Hawks outshot La Salle 7-6, but they were unable to squeak out the win.
“We totally dominated the game, but we didn’t capitalize on the opportunities and they did, and that was the whole game,” Hendricken head coach Michael Rooney said.
Hendricken’s first shot of the game came in the fifth minute when sophomore forward Ian Berry fired from deep and was denied by La Salle goalkeeper Jared Regnault.
The Hawks had another chance four minutes later, when Noah Perry, the senior midfielder, shot a laser on net from the left side, but La Salle senior defenseman Nicholas Salvatore, who was standing in the box, made a spectacular play, using his right foot to keep the try from going into the net.
Then, Ryan Morel, the Hendricken goalkeeper, made a sensational stop of his own in the 17th minute. La Salle’s Gevork Diarbian did a spin move up the middle before firing a bullet on net from 22 yards away, and Morel sprinted right to make the save.
However, 30 seconds later, La Salle junior midfielder Giovanni Del Nero assisted in front to Dobrzynski, who used a header to put it past Morel, giving La Salle a 1-0 advantage.
Hendricken had another opportunity during the 24th minute when senior forward Andreus Bargblor passed to Perry, who then dished ahead to forward Nickolas Franklin in the box, but Franklin’s attempt ricocheted off of the crossbar.
In the 31st minute, a Hendricken defenseman made a crucial mistake when he tried to pass back to his keeper, but the ball got away from the defenseman, causing the Hawks’ keeper to come out of the box to retrieve it, and that’s when La Salle’s Dobrzynski snuck in between them and shot into a wide-open net, increasing La Salle’s lead to 2-0.
Five minutes after that, Hendricken got on the scoreboard when standout midfielder Ewan Noble threw an inbound pass into the box, and forward Chukwuma Onyejose put it into the net with a header.
La Salle would take a 2-1 lead into the break.
Hendricken senior defenseman Ian Crowe dislocated his knee during the contest and was unable to return. That’s when Rooney was forced to make a change, using three forwards towards the end of the game.
The Hawks earned another try during the 58th minute, when Franklin released a shot from 11 yards out, but his attempt was stopped by Regnault.
In the 73rd minute, Franklin shot a laser from 25 yards away, and it went off of the La Salle goalkeeper’s hands and then off of the crossbar. Regnault would deny attempts from Zachary Sousa and another from Franklin over the ensuing three minutes to seal the deal for La Salle.
Rooney was far from content with how the season ended.
“I’m disappointed that we didn’t win it,” Rooney said. “We deserved to win it. We were a better team, but didn’t capitalize. I thought that we had an excellent chance of winning it, but tonight it just didn’t happen.”