The Kickemuit girls soccer team and their fans erupted in cheer after the Huskies shutout Gallagher Middle School 2-0 in the middle school state championship at Johnston Stadium on Thursday night. …
The Kickemuit girls soccer team and their fans erupted in cheer after the Huskies shutout Gallagher Middle School 2-0 in the middle school state championship at Johnston Stadium on Thursday night. Gallagher became the latest victim for the undefeated Huskies who yielded just one goal all season long. It was the second trip to the finals in as many years for Kickemuit who finished the season with an overall record of 13-0. The Huskies lost last season’s championship when six of their starters were quarantined due to close contact.
“It feels Amazing,” said Huskies co-captain Emma Goglia who was quarantined for the championship last season. “It feels amazing to win.”
“I’m happy that we all got to play and take the W this year,” said co-captain Sara Nencka.
“We had a big target on our backs,” Goglia said of their regular season. “We had to work hard, lock in and just keep beating teams to get back to the championship.”
“It was a beautiful thing to watch,” said head coach Karyn Noonan. “My two captains, this is the first of many for them. They were leaders from day one. They bought in from the first practice, first lap, first mile, first sprint. They were always in.” she said. “I’m glad they were able to win it with this group that they’ve played with since kindergarten.”
Kickemuit, who scored 57 goals during the regular season, blistered Gallagher goalkeeper Grace Keenan with fifteen shots. The Huskies scored the winning goal early in the first half and provided an insurance goal later in the second. Midfielder Aubrey Cummings (four playoff goals) took a pass from Sara Nencka and blasted a kick into the back of the goal from the middle of the box to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead with 24:09 to play in the first half. Nencka added an insurance goal with 13:30 to play in the second. The striker ran up to a perfect through pass from center back Emma Blais, dribbled by defenders and placed a left-footed shot by goalkeeper Grace Keenan to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead.
Defensively the Huskies were tough as nails. The defensive back four of Emma Blais, Vivienne Noonan, Thalia Adkins and Abby Rodrigues, did a specular job limiting Gallagher to just six shots on goal. Center mid Emma Goglia ranged all over the field making stops and turnovers. Goalkeeper Mekayla Nieves made six saves and helped transition the Huskies back on offense with her booming midfield kicks.
We have a strong defensive line and Mekayla was lights out,” said Coach Noonan. “With a girl who can make stops like that and then punt them out to the 50 (yard line), it’s easy to keep the opponents’ goal scoring low with a back end like that.”
The Huskies biggest scare came towards the end of the game when Nieves bent over to grab a weak shot. Two Gallagher forwards made contact and knocked the keeper over. One forward attempted a shot as Nieves fell back leaving the ball exposed. Center mid Kendall Ascoli stepped in and block the shot. Then, midfielder Ava Morrissette cleared the ball out of the box.
Kickemuit knocked off Ponaganset 3-0 in the first round of the playoffs. Then beat Burrillville 3-0 in the quarterfinals and Lincoln 1-0 in the semifinals before beating Gallagher.
“The girls earned it,” said Coach Noonan. “It was good to come here and finish what we planned to do all year. You couldn’t get a better group of girls. They are just nice kids. They were all invested and just wanted to win for each other.”
Kickemuit soccer team members are: Alycea Vega, Ava Morrissette, Catherine Frawley, Ella Teixeira, Angela Pirri, Mekayla Neves, Aubrey Cummings, Emma Silva, Thalia Adkins, Catherine Cary, Emma Goglia, Sara Nencka, Kendra Ascoli, Maya Goglia, Sophia Santoro, Brooke Avila, Emma Blais, Abigail Rodrigues, Olivia Overy, Vivienne Noonan, Norah Francis and Alaina Enes.