Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 03-27-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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Pawtucket Edition Sports & Recreation valleybreeze.com @ MARCH 27-APRIL 2, 2019 PAWTUCKET – Sports have a habit of bringing people together, and that's what soccer did for a group of boys from Pawtucket. Last Saturday, three former team- mates of the Pawtucket Storm's SuperLiga travel team returned to where it all started, the McKinnon- Alves Soccer Complex, and Jack Brusso, Julian Aristizabal and Luis Blanco recalled some of their memo- ries from playing on the complex and how that had bonded them for life. The Pawtucket Youth Soccer Association is where many of the city's youngsters try their hand – or foot – at soccer, and the ones who truly enjoy the sport and progress at it have usually gone on to take the field for the Storm. Brusso, Aristizabal and Blanco began playing soccer around the age of 4 and met many other players, who along with them, went on to make a name for themselves on soc- cer fields across the state. "I joined the Pawtucket Rec League, and from there, I met these two clowns ( Julian and Luis)," Brusso jokingly said. "I started playing for the Pawtucket Storm and I just never stopped." These three Pawtucket boys, along with some of their friends, continued to play soccer together, but veered into different directions once they reached high school. Brusso is a senior at La Salle Academy who was a First-Team All- State defensive standout for the sec- ond year in a row. Aristizabal is also a senior striker at La Salle, and they played against Blanco's Tolman High team in the state championship match last fall, which the Tigers won by a 1-0 score. Blanco, another senior, had gone to the New England Revolution Academy, but decided to play for the Tigers in his final year of high school. Blanco, who will continue his soccer career at D-II Franklin Pierce University this fall, was also a First- Team All-State striker who was also selected to the U.S. Soccer Coaches' All-New England and All-American teams. "Opportunities came about, and I started to push myself when I started to get better at a young age, and my dad started helping me a lot," added Blanco, who led all Division I scor- ers in goals with 19. "I started to train and get prepared. My goal was to become a professional soccer player, and it still is now." As for last season's magical sea- son, which saw the Tigers post a 14-0-4 record, Blanco smiled and said, "Undefeated season and state champions," to the laughter of the two La Salle boys, who both said they wouldn't have wanted to lose to any Left, Pawtucket residents and lifelong soccer players, from left, JACK BRUSSO, JULIAN ARISTIZABAL, and LUIS BLANCO stand in front of where their soccer careers began, on the fields of the city's McKinnon-Alves Complex. Right, Aristizabal, left, Blanco, center, and Brusso pose for a picture underneath the bleachers of La Salle Academy's stadium after Tolman and La Salle battled to a 1-1 draw in their regular-season meeting last Sept. 13. The Tigers and the Rams met again two months later in the state championship game, and Tolman came away with a 1-0 victory. From the PYSA to RIIL state finals Pawtucket friends look back at journey from youth soccer to high school By KAYLA PANU Valley Breeze Sports Writer kayla@valleybreeze.com See SOCCER, Page 14 NORTH PROVIDENCE – Cute 3 bedroom ranch located on a dead-end street. Beautiful fenced yard, new deck, newer windows, and central air. Heated lower level with separate egress. Nestled in a quiet neighborhood yet close to all conveniences and interstates. FOR SALE – $219,000 Call Lyn at 401-487-0011 for a private viewing (S27529) Millbrook Modular Homes "A Concept to Completion Builder" SPRING SPECIALS So Much For So Little $113,900 2 Bedroom Ranch 26.4 x 36 948 SF $125,900 2 Bedroom Ranch 26.4 x 40 1056 SF Fl-1 $137,900 3 Bedroom Ranch 26 x 52.7 1369 SF Delivered and Assembled on your Foundation (standard options) Some Finish Work Required Delivery 10 Weeks from Order Millbrook Modular Homes 2255 Providence Highway Walpole, MA 02081 Office: 508-734-5884 Fax: 508-734-5882 www.millbrookhomes.com "We make homeownership easy the best way possible so families can live rich and fulfilling lives." Two Time National Winner, Home of the Month!

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