The Pilgrim Patriots got two goals apiece from Dan Peixinho and Aaron Ramos and shut out the Panthers 4-0 at Johnston High School on Friday afternoon during a Division III boys soccer matchup.
With the win, the Pats improve their regular season record to 11-2-1. It was Pilgrim’s second straight victory after falling to Exeter - West Greenwich on October 15.
The Pats were quick on offense in Johnston and Pilgrim head coach Bill Carroll attributed that to the artificial turf.
“This surface helps for moving the ball and they played better today,” Carroll said. “Defensively, we’ve still got a lot of work to do, but they’re picking it up a bit now. We’ve only got one game left and then we’re in the playoffs. So, we better be ready. If we’re not ready, then we’re going to be out of the playoffs quickly. But that’s up to me to get them ready for next week’s game.”
The Pats close out the regular season on Thursday at home at 6:30 p.m. against Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy (4-7-2).
“We’ve got senior night on Thursday, which is the last game of the season, and then we’ll see who we’ll meet in the playoffs,” Carroll said. “So, we’ve had a couple of hiccups along the way, but maybe we can pull it off in the playoffs. But we’ve got to do some work before we do that.”
Johnston goalkeeper Ryan Lavoie made ten saves in the game while Pilgrim’s Steve Laurent stopped five shots.
The Pats drew a 1-0 advantage, eight and a half minutes into the contest, when Peixinho scored with a put back, using a header, after his initial shot missed off the crossbar.
Four minutes later, Pilgrim extended its lead to 2-0 when Ramos fired a shot past Lavoie from 20 yards out.
Next, Collin Murphy assisted ahead to Peixinho for his second tally and that gave the Pats a 3-0 buffer with 9:35 remaining in the first half.
Lastly, Pilgrim upped its cushion to 4-0, with 7:13 left in the second half, when Jovanhi Andrade passed to Ramos, who juked a defender before walloping a shot into the top left corner of the net from 17 yards deep.