Sunday, November 09, 2008


Brilliant readers, I'll have you know that good fortune smiled in my direction yet again.

Last weekend, it materialized as Anchorwomen soccer and the NESHOF induction ceremony. This weekend, it appeared as a platter full of nearly non-stop football, stretching from Saturday afternoon through Sunday evening. I attended a total of four matches in a 30-hour span.* And to think, I didn't have to break the bank to do so!**

(*Out of a possible ten - TEN - matches on the slate. The R.I. High School Soccer Championships totaled seven, Brown's men and women were in action, and the RIC-PSU LEC Championship match. Thanksgiving came 19 days early for a soccer football glutton like myself.)

(**Total cost: Ten dollars for the four matches I attended. Really. That's less than the price of a movie.)

The first match pitted the Anchormen and Plymouth State Panthers for the Little East Conference title. My buddy Mario, whom I somehow convinced to attend*, and I witnessed my school's first-ever LEC title before a full house. It was a truly special moment for me, as a current student, to witness such an historic victory. The title also clinches their very first NCAA Tournament berth. To say that I'm proud of the Anchormen side is a severe understatement.

(*I'm still amazed how I was able to pull this off. He has no connection to either school, nor does he have a particular interest in soccer. Yet, he rooted heartily, along with me, for the Anchormen for the full ninety. It was a grand time. Definitely an early nominee for Most Improbable Negotiation of the Month.)

About two hours later, I watched Brown University play Yale at Stevenson Field. My last visit came during the first round of last year's NCAA's, where Old Dominion shocked the Bears in 2-1 2OT thriller. Upon my return, I noticed that wonderful thing about the field is that, in November, the suburban East Side lights peer through the sparse vegetation. It reminds you that the pitch sits in the middle of a residential neighborhood, much like it is in so many small villages and towns abroad (i.e. the way it should be). What's more is that the park sits on the crown of the East Side. A seat on the upper rungs of the bleachers offers a spectacular view of Providence's cozy residential districts.

As far as the conditions - it began pouring at the half, and alas, I was not prepared. Without a hooded garment or waterproof attire, the rain refused to sympathize with my plight. The Bears were down 0-1 as I raced toward the shelter of my car. They went on to lose 0-2.

Sunday. After a hearty breakfast, some Patriots-Bills viewing, and some 20-page paper reducing, I stopped by Pierce Field and caught the final ten minutes of the Rhode Island State High School Girls Soccer D-IV championship. Even though it was 2-1 Woonsocket over Tolman, there was still one more scene to behold. Novans midfielder Kristin Cahill took a late penalty, and earned the hat trick (and tourney Most Outstanding Player) on an unseasonably warm afternoon. Perhaps the quote of the match was from a parent sitting a row ahead of me: "Who needs the Patriots when you've got the Novans?"

Finally, I returned to RIC Soccer Field for the Boys D-III Championships between Tiverton and North Smithfield. Although the Northmen were bigger and stronger, the Tigers dominated possession throughout the first half. Geoff Sampaio scored in the 20th minute, helping his team win its first title since 1988. I would have love to have stayed to see the celebration, but bedecked in a short-sleeved Beckham jersey quickly chilling evening,* my un-numbed senses thought it best to call it a game at the half.

(*Sensing a theme? I actually realized that I had a sweater in the trunk...after I returned home.)

Who knew that a random November weekend could provide so much enterainment?

I was spoiled, though. Another weekend such as this will not transpire for quite some time. Alas, I have been sentenced me to leaf raking, early Christmas shopping, and staring at blank blogger screens for the remainder of my autumn weekends.

Lastly, I put on for my city, I mean, state. Here the full scores for this year's R.I. High School Soccer Championships.

Girls D-I
LaSalle 2, South Kingston 1

Girls D-II
Bay View 1, Cranston West 0

Girls D-III
St. Raphael's 2, Tiverton 0

Girls D-IV
Woonsocket 3, Tolman 0

Boys D-I
Barrington 1, La Salle 0

Boys D-II
Lincoln 2, Shea 1

Boys D-III
Tiverton 2, North Smithfield 1

Congratulations to all!

No comments: