Huskies open playoffs with 3-1 win over North Smithfield

Mt. Hope next travels to Smithfield for the quarterfinals ·

With a hard line drive into the back corner of the net, midfielder Jeremy Lima put Mt. Hope up for good as the boys soccer team opened the playoffs with a 3-1 win over North Smithfield Tuesday night.

Lima blasted the shot from the top of the circle with less than 18 minutes to play, taking back the momentum North Smithfield had after tying the game early in the second half. The Northmen had been on the attack the entire second half after both teams played flat in the first. 

Despite a furious attack and multiple scoring chances to open the second half, North Smithfield put few shots on net as Mt. Hope’s defense cleared the ball time and again. Goalkeeper Josh Bartoszuk turned away the few shots he saw, allowing just one to squirt through after a scrum in front of the net. Four different Northmen got a foot on the ball inside the box before Justin Decelles finally headed it in to tie the score at 1.

North Smithfield kept attacking after until Mt. Hope finally was able to switch the field, leading to Lima’s goal, assisted by striker Richard DiFrenna. The Huskies kept control after that, and found the net again just five minutes later. After North Smithfield goal keeper Adam Blakemore turned away a direct kick from 25 yards out, Mt. Hope stole the rebound just outside the box. Some confusion among the Northmen defense led Blakemore to collide with a Husky, leaving an open net for Brady Sousa to feed midfielder Umer Khan for an easy header into the net, putting the game away with 11 to play.

The second half was the opposite of the first, when neither team could muster any offense. Mt. Hope took the only shot on net in the first, resulting in the first goal by DiFrenna just five minutes in. After a North Smithfield turnover in their own end, DiFrenna broke away into the box, making a nifty move around Blakemore to score the easy, open-net goal. 

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Mt. Hope, the number 7 seed in the playoffs, travels to Smithfield to face the number 2 seed in the quarterfinals Friday.

Mt. Hope High School, Mt, Hope soccer