The Warwick Vets Hurricanes went to Johnston High School on Saturday morning and won the Middle School Girls Soccer Championship, edging the Curtis Corner Cougars 1-0 after winning 4-3 in penalty kicks.
Warwick head coach Nicole Kenney knew there was a good possibility the trophy could be decided by a shootout, so she made she her girls was groomed.
“We prepared for it,” Kenney said. “We practiced it. The last time our team made it here, it went to a shootout. So I was hoping, as every coach does, that we could get it done during the time and not even have to go to overtime, but unfortunately that’s not the way it went. We prepared, we practiced, and we got it done with those five kicks. So, I’m very proud of them. They didn’t lose their cool, they kept their focus, and they’re just a great bunch of girls.”
When the game went to penalty kicks, Finley Carr scored during the Cougars’ first attempt and that put Curtis Corner up 1-0. Then, Warwick’s Destinee Frias missed wide right.
Next, Curtis Corner’s Samie Murphy fired a shot into the back of the net, and that put the Cougars on top 2-0. Warwick pulled within 2-1 when Vets eighth-grade star Amaya Coffie sent a bullet past Curtis Corner keeper Addy Cook.
The Cougars’ Zoey Siemmao misfired after that when she rocketed a shot over the crossbar, and then Warwick’s Kiley Strain scored a goal and knotted the score at 2-2.
Next, Curtis Corner’s Celine Barbera would also miss over the crossbar before Warwick’s Lily Howard found twine and gave Vets a 3-2 advantage.
Curtis Corner’s Grace Martone evened the score at 3 before Warwick eighth-grader Haylee Marcotte netted the game-winner, giving Warwick a 4-3 walk-off win in the shootout.
Marcotte, who plays in Premier, didn’t play for the team last season, but once Kenney noticed her skills in physical education class, she made sure Marcotte was on the team was this year.
“Hailee is a phenomenal player,” Kenney explained. “She as a seventh grader last year, actually didn’t come out for the team … So, we kind of told her last year to, and I talked to her mother and got her to play for us this year and she’s been nothing but a great addition to our team.”
Another top player at Vets is Coffie, who controlled the ball for much of the contest.
“She definitely is,” Kenney said. “She comes from a soccer family. Her sister Alanna Coffie played for me when we won the states a couple of years ago. So, I think she had a little influence there and I think she wanted to follow up in her sister’s path. But she definitely stands alone. She is such a talented player. She works really hard. In the offseason she works with other teams as well. So, she’s very, very talented.”
Coffie donned the award medal around her neck after the game while she took a photo with friends.
“My team put in a lot of work and I’m just happy that we came out with the results we wanted,” Coffie said.
In goal for Warwick was Jenna Madden, an eighth-grade backup keeper who has been starting since the last two games of the regular season because the original starter Carmyn Acarregui is out with an injury.
Madden made three saves on the day for Warwick, while Cook had eight for Curtis Corner.
“Jenna played good,” Kenney said. “Our original starting goalie for the season, Carmyn, ended up getting hurt and she had to have surgery on her shin. So, we looked out to Jenna and again we worked with her and we trained her. She’s a great goalie in her own right and she stepped up to the plate and did what she had to do here. She definitely earned her victory today.”