ORLEANS - With one score and a pair of assists, Lake Region senior Shaquille Urie lifted the Rangers to a 3-0 victory over visiting Miller River in opening round play of the Division II boys soccer tournament Tuesday.
Alex Beauregard pocked the No. 3 seeded Rangers’ (13-2) first goal of the afternoon by converting a well-placed Urie corner kick, followed by a Josh Thibault tally late in the first half and Urie’s goal early in the second half.
But it was Beauregard, who began the game like any other (as a marking back), that was called up front earlier than normal, that provided the jump start to a Lake Region offense that was slow out of the blocks.
“I wasn’t happy with the way we were attacking,” said head coach Tom Evans. “When he’s up there, he makes things happen, and we needed that.”
After squandering early opportunities, it was a streaking Clint Provoncha who helped get Lake Region going. The junior burned a Mill River defender to help set up Urie for his team’s first corner kick of the day.
It was then Beauregard’s run through the box and subsequent header that lifted the Rangers’ to a 1-0 lead with 8:13 to go in the first half.
A dormant offense now rolling, the Rangers struck again five minutes later.
Thibault raced out of nowhere to pocket his team’s second goal with 3:45 remaining in the first, this off a Drew Gallup chip that Urie skipped off his chest into the box.
Lake Region’s final tally came with 33:01 to go in the second half, this time with Beauregard assisting Urie to help his squad coast to a playdown victory over the 14th-seeded Minutemen (3-11-1).
“We got on the ball in area well today,” said Evans, “And pumped in two quick balls in the first half to give us that needed edge. But in terms of quality of play, we just weren’t talking out there.
“I think it was mostly nerves, but we’ll need to continue to play much better if we’re to have a chance against Mount Abe or Rice.”
Lake Region will host sixth-seeded Mount Abraham (7-7-1), who knocked off No. 11 Rice in an overtime victory Tuesday. The quarterfinal match will be played Friday at 3 p.m.