The No. 5 Toll Gate girls lacrosse team topped No. 4 Burrillville 9-8 last week on the road in the Division III Quarterfinals.
Nicole Procaccini led the way for the Lady Titans, scoring four goals with a pair of assists. Alyssa Silvestre added two goals and two assists, while Kelsey Hunter scored two goals and Alyssa O’Keefe one.
The Titans jumped out to a 6-4 lead by the halftime break, and despite allowing the Broncos to cut into the lead late in the contest, Toll Gate’s defense would hold up and secure the win. Toll Gate goalie Kylie Russo racked up nine saves in the cage.
“The first time we played it was 6-4 at halftime then this time it was 6-4 at halftime. It went pretty much how we expected it would,” said Toll Gate coach Jim Areson. “The Burrillville goalie (Allie Stockwell) made three or four big saves in the second half to keep it close. I was very pleased with how they played, they played well, they did a lot of things right. They played with a lot of consistency with each possession.”
Playing tight defense while putting the clamps on Burrillville standout Kennedy Pepler were key in the victory, according to Areson.
“We just play really good defense and they have two really good players that we focus on and we really try to slow them down. We focused on (Pepler) and she had only one goal and one assist. I told the girls that if she doesn’t beat us then I don’t think they can, and she didn’t,” said Areson.
Areson was also pleased with his club’s offensive output, and has been impressed with its efficiency in the second half of the season.
“Nicole Procaccini and Alyssa Silvestre played very well, and there were six assists on nine of our goals which was great to see, you really can’t ask for much more than that. They really shared the ball well, we’re making good decisions, making smart plays. We’re going to play really good defense so if we can score then we’ll be tough to beat,” said Areson.
The Titans will now hit the road to take on undefeated, top-seeded Lincoln on Thursday, who topped Cranston East in the quarterfinals.
The Lions topped Toll Gate 10-1 when they squared off in the regular season, but Areson expects and much closer contest this time around as the Titans are hitting their peak this season.
“They’re undefeated and have a really good player that we are going to focus on, so it will be a pretty similar game plan,” said Areson. “We’re 8-1 in our last nine games so we’re fortunate to be playing our best lacrosse at this time of the season. It should be a good game. If we show up, it will be a good, tight, close game.”