Cranston East Captains
Cr. East 2 Pilgrim 2
In their league opener at Pilgrim, the Thunderbolt earned a 2-2 tie against the older Patriots.
While outshooting them, 22-17, The Bolt hit the top post five times in the match.
Trailing 1-0 with under three minutes to go in the first half, Ayo George scored on a penalty shot to even it up.
The Green and White allowed Pilgrim to take a 2-1 lead three minutes into the second half.
With 27:13 remaining, however, Angel Lopez received a pass from Kerin Murillo in the box and beat the Pilgrim goalkeeper to his left for a 2-2 tie.
Cr. East 2 Ponag. 0
Led by the solid defensive play of Ayo George, Pedro Saravia, Adnel Lopez, David DaSilva and Luke Hardy, the Thunderbolt earned their first victory of the year with a 2-0 win over Ponaganset, who finished 13-4-0 one year ago.
Gio Canales had 8 saves to earn his first shutout of the year.
In the second half, senior Ayo George broke a scoreless tie with a goal on a free kick.
Ayo George scores on a free kick.
Cr. East 9 P-Cuff. 0
The Bolt coasted to their second win of the year over Paul Cuffee.
Scoring goals for the Green & White were Kerin Murrillo (3 goals & 1 assist), Richmond Miamen (2 goals & 2 assists), Ayo George (2 goals & 2 assists), Angel Lopez & Javes Cabrera.
Richmond Miamen scores for Cranston East.
Ayo George scores after Nat Hardy places a perfect ball in the box.
Cr. East 1 PCD 0
Senior Ayo George's second goal was all the Thunderbolt needed for their third win of the year.
Giovanni Canales, who had six saves in the match, recorded his third consecutive shutout.
Despite outshooting the Knights, 26-10, the Green & White could not cross the goal line until Kerin Murillo was tripped in the box with 14 minutes left to go in the match. Ayo George calmly scored on the ensuing penalty shot.
Ayo George's Penalty Shot
Cr. East 3 Tiv. 1
Led by the outstanding play of junior goalkeeper, Giovanni Canales, the Thunderbolt won their fourth consecutive game, 3-1, over Tiverton.
Playing in their first night game of the year at the Tiger's den, the Bolt took a 1-0 lead 14 minutes into the game when Ayo George made a run from the back, setting up a breakaway goal by Kerin Murillo.
After Tiverton tied the game in the second half on a set piece, East took a 2-1 lead when Richmond Miamen found Murillo inside the 18.
With three minutes remaining, Moses Reyes scored the clincher on a rebound off of a Miamen shot.
Cr. East 4 Woon. 1
After jumping out to a 4-0 halftime lead, Cranston East coasted to their fifth victory of the year over the Villanovans of Woonsocket, 4-1.
Senior Richmond Miamen led the way, scoring two goals in the first half.
East also received support from David DaSilva (1 goal), Adnel Lopez (1 goal), Kerin Murillo (2 assists) & Gabe Sotelo (1 assist).
Giovanni Canales was impressive in net once again, posting ten saves in wet conditions.
Cr. East 4 Rogers 1
Led by the playmaking skills of sophomore Kerin Murillo (three assists), four different players scored in a 4-1 victory for Cranston East.
At the 22 minute mark of the first half, Murillo found teammate Richmond Miamen inside the 12 yard line for the first goal of the game.
In the second half at the 15 minute mark, Murillo dribbled several defenders and found Gabe Sotelo at the 12 yard line for a 2-0 lead.
Four minutes later, freshman Noah Sylva found Nat Hardy for 3-0 lead.
The Bolt scored their final goal two minutes later (19:46 remaining) when Murillo connected with Ayo George (header) on a corner kick.
Cr. East 6 Scit. 2
After falling behind 1-0 five minutes into their game against the Spartans of Scituate, the Bolt scored the next six goals in a 6-2 road victory.
Kerin Murillo scored three goals in a span of 25 minutes to lead the way in a first half for the Bolt who outshot the Spartans, 16-1.
Offensively, the Green & White were led by Murillo (4 goals), David DaSilva (1 goal & 1 assist), Javes Cabrera (1 goal), Gabe Sotelo (2 assists), Adnel Lopez (1 assist) & Ayo George (1 assist).
Defensively, Cranston East permitted only five shots over the last 75 minutes of their match. Playing well for the Bolt were fullbacks Luke Hogan, Pedro Saravia & Adnel Lopez.
Kerin Murillo receives a perfect pass from David DaSilva and records his fourth goal of the game.
Cr. East 4 N. Prov. 1
On the verge of winning their first divisional championship in 43 years (1974), the Thunderbolt of Cranston East turned a 1-0 lead into a 4-1 victory under the lights in North Providence.
The Green and White (12-0-1), who have 37 points, hold an 11 point lead over Narragansett (8-2-2) with three games left in the regular season.
The Bolt had a balanced scoring attack with David DaSilva, Ayo George, Angel Lopez and Richmond Miamen scoring goals.
Picking up the assists were Kerin Murillo (16 goals and 16 assists on the year) with two more assists, David DaSilva and Angel Lopez.
St. Rays 3 Cr. East 1
Despite outshooting and maintaining over 50 minutes of possession, the Thunderbolt lost their first game of the year to the Saints of St. Raphael.
St. Raphael, which benefited from two penalty kicks by Max Rodriguez, played a solid game defensively against the top scoring team in Division Three.
The lone goal for the Bolt was provided by Richmond Miamen. After the purple and gold took a 1-0 lead on a penalty shot, Kerin Murillo found Miamen after 27 seconds later at the top of the box.
Narrag. 2 Cr. East 0
After going undefeated in the first 13 games, the Thunderbolt lost their second consecutive game of the week to the Mariners of Narragansett, 2-0.
The Thunderbolt, who outshot the red and white 29-13, could not get the ball by senior goalkeeper, Jack Betts. Betts recorded 16 saves for the victory.
Cr. East 5 John. 1
Facing adversity after losing two league games in a row, the Thunderbolt rebounded and ended the year with a solid 5-1 victory over the Panthers of Johnston.
With the win, Cranston East closed out the regular season with a 13-2-1 league record and their first divisional championship in 43 years.
Offensively, the Bolt were led by Richamon Miamen (two goals), Angel Lopez (one goal), Ayo George (one goal), Nat Hardy (one goal), Kerin Murillo (three assists) and David DaSilva (one assist.)
George leads East to State Title!
By Ryan D. Murray (Cranston Herald)
The Cranston East Thunderbolts boys’ soccer team won the Division III state title, beating the St. Raphael Academy Saints, 1-0, at Rhode Island College on Saturday evening. East senior midfielder and sweeper, Ayodeji George, netted the game-deciding goal and earned the game’s Most Valuable Player award.
“It’s been four years of just getting knocked out and it’s about time we won one,” George said. “So, I’m really happy. Great group of guys, these guys are all my brothers for life and I’m just happy that we all got to win this.”
East’s Kerin Murillo, Gio Canales and Richmond Miamen made the All-Tournament Team. Murillo led the team during the season in both goals with 18 and assists with 21.
“I told the kids that when we got to the finals that we had an excellent season, but if we could win, it would become a memorable season,” Cranston East head coach Richard Grenier said. “So, I’m just going to say to the kids again, that it was a memorable season, and to be honest, it’s kind of sad that the season ends today, because we’ve had so much fun that I wish it could have continued.”
Coming into the finals, Grenier knew that St. Ray’s would
be stingy. “They are a very good defensive club and I knew they were going to give us fits defensively,” Grenier said. “That first 20 minutes, we really looked good. We just couldn’t finish. But, we played tough defense. Our defense was just as good as theirs and Gio was really good in net.”
East finishes the season at 17-2-1, breaking the school’s record for wins in a season and for goals scored in a season with 68. The old record was 14 wins back in 1974 with Coach Lyle Perra.
East forward Angel Lopez fired the first shot of the game, a bouncer that was scooped up by Spencer Hsu, the St. Ray’s goalkeeper, one minute into the contest. One minute later, Hsu denied a shot from Murillo, before East’s David Da Silva booted one over the net.
In the 15th minute, St. Ray’s got its first shot on net when midfielder Aaron Flynn sniped from 18 yards out, only to have it denied by Canales.
During the 19th minute, Murillo passed into the box to Miamen, but the forward’s attempt was denied by the St. Ray’s goalkeeper.
Two minutes later, the pair connected again, but again, it came up short when Miamen's kick just slightly cleared the net.
St. Ray’s had chances in the 20th and 23rd minutes, but shots from Dylan Polion and Max Rodriguez sailed wide of the mark.
In the 35th minute, St. Ray’s rifled a shot from in front of the circle, but Canales raced right and knocked it away at the last moment.
The teams would head into the break scoreless.
Nine minutes into the second half, East got off a quality shot when Da Silva fired from inside the box, but it got denied by Hsu.
Not long after, Canales stopped two shots from St. Ray’s Sebastian Romero. Then, down the other end, East’s Murillo missed wide from just outside the box.
At the 61-minute mark, Sotelo used a free kick to send the ball into the box, and it deflected off a St. Ray’s player, before Ayodeji swooped in and put it into the net, giving East the 1-0 lead.
“Gabe put a really good ball into the box and it was easy at that point,” George explained. “I was just glad that I was in the position to put it away.”
“Ayodeji’s been great on free kicks all year long,” Grenier said. “He has a lot to do with this championship. He would work out with young kids in the summer, and he’s just been a special player to coach. I’ve been lucky enough to be with him for four years.”
This is the third time that Grenier has coached a team to a soccer state championship. The other two occurred when he coached Cranston West (1996) and West Warwick (2004).
“I have to admit that this one has a special place in my heart,” Grenier said. “Being able to coach and experience this feeling with my two sons (Matthew Grenier and Richard Grenier, Jr.), along with Jake Leander (former player), really makes this special.”
Jake Leander, Matthew Grenier and Richard Grenier, Jr. were all assistant coaches for East this fall.