The Toll Gate Titans fell to the Coventry Oakers, 2-1, in an exciting battle of Division II boys’ soccer teams at Bend Street Complex on Thursday night. Sophomore striker Jake Rathbun scored both goals for Coventry, including the game-deciding tally.
Toll Gate captain and goalkeeper Datyn Deasley had nine stops during the contest while Coventry’s Cam Major finished with five.
“Datyn’s a very good goalkeeper,” Toll Gate head coach Mike Kenney said. “He’s probably one of the better goalkeepers in the division. He’s seen a lot of shots. He’s solid and he had a solid performance tonight.”
The Titans got on the board early in the first half when junior midfielder Ed Pereira used a free kick to put the ball in front of the net and then William Niles assisted in front to Logan Heberg, who knocked it into the net and gave Toll Gate a 1-0 lead.
Shortly after, Rathbun booted a ball high over the Titans’ net before Deasley stopped a bullet from Chris Fernandez.
Midway through the half, Toll Gate’s leading scorer, senior David Roa, misfired on an attempt from just outside the box.
Moments later, Rathbun slashed past the defense and towards the goal before his attempt was denied by a diving Deasley. However, with about 15 minutes to play in the half, Rathbun scored on a fast break and tied the match at 1.
At the beginning of the second half, Toll Gate’s Joe Silvestre had a shot halted by Major. Down the other end, Coventry’s Brandon Gramajo received a pass in front from defenseman Daniel Clummo, but he was denied by Deasley, who swatted it away with his right hand.
Nine minutes into the half, Roa fired a laser from in front of the arc, but once again Major came through with a stop. Two minutes after that, Pereira blasted a direct kick at the net, but that was also denied by Major.
With about 16 minutes to play, Roa earned a steal and unleashed a decent attempt on net, but Major made a leaping stop to keep the game tied.
Four minutes later, the intense play continued. Rathbun did a spin move in front before firing on net and was denied by Deasley. Subsequently, Coventry’s Ryan Demers shot a bullet, and that too was denied by the Titans’ goalkeeper.
Though, with about four minutes to play in the match, Rathbun speedily dribbled by defenders and into the Toll Gate zone and fired a bullet past Deasley to put Coventry up, 2-1.
Although the Titans lost, Kenney was happy that his team left it all on the field.
“Today was more of a complete effort,” Kenney said. “We’ve been struggling to find two halves. They played well, we just came up a little short. They gave a solid effort tonight from whistle to whistle.”
Toll Gate falls to 2-8-2 on the season while Coventry improves to 5-5-2. The Titans play next at Cranston West on Monday, starting at 3:30 p.m.