The CCRI Lady Knights soccer team recently received some more good news with four of their players being named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Northeast Region XXI team. The Lady Knights’ representatives are captain defender Becca D’Andrea (Cumberland), captain defender Haley Durkin (Cumberland), captain forward/midfielder Lauren Saritelli and freshman forward Caitlin McGarry (Warwick).
D’Andrea is a two-time All-Region XXI team honoree. She was also recently named Honorable Mention All-American by the NJCAA. She had two goals and six assists in her sophomore campaign for 10 total points. Her 10 points in 2011 to go along with three goals and three assists as a freshman give her five goals and nine assists for 19 total career points. She was a quick, aggressive and athletic player with an abundance of soccer skill. She along with the rest of the Lady Knights’ helped hold down the CCRI defense, and during her career they only allowed 28 goals to score in 34 total games.
“Becca was a starting defender who was just named NJCAA All-American was also a tri-captain on this year’s team,” head coach Dennis Grassini said. “She can best be described as small in size and huge in heart. She possesses great field awareness, speed and skill. She is always first to the ball and beats all of her opponents to the ball. She led a very stingy defensive corps this past season allowing only 14 goals against in 17 games.”
Saritelli was the only Lady Knight to earn back-to-back NJCAA Region XXI honors and NSCAA All-Northeast Region honors. At forward, Saritelli was one of the Lady Knights prime scoring threats over her two-year career. In 2011 she had seven goals and five assists for 19 total points, which ranked her third on the team in scoring. In her freshman campaign she had six goals and six assist for 18 total points giving her 13 goals and 11 assists for 37 career total points.
“Lauren, a sophomore tri-captain possesses great speed and skill,” Grassini said. “As a starting midfielder she scored seven goals and assisted on five for a total of 19 points. She is an excellent player who can definitely have no problem playing at the next level. She has tremendous stamina and she was the most fit individual on our team.”
Durkin, along with D’Andrea was the last line of defense before the Lady Knights’ keeper. This is Durkin’s second All-Region honor this year after being named All-Region XXI as well. She had an assist for one point. In her freshman campaign she had one goal and three assists for five total points. For her career, she has six points. However, Durkin wasn’t looked upon to score but to play defense. As a sweeper she was excellent at limiting the opponents’ scoring opportunities and getting the ball out of the CCRI defensive end. During her 30-game career the Lady Knights only gave up 27 goals.
“Haley was another starting defender (sweeper back),” Grassini said. “She was also a Tri-Captain who has excellent size and speed. There weren’t many offensive players that beat her this past season. She is a tremendously underrated player. She is more than a solid defender who was a part of a very stingy defense.”
McGarry burst onto the scene in her freshman year and became the Lady Knights’ and Region XXI’s leading scorer. McGarry also earned All-Region XXI honors for her efforts. She had 10 goals and a team-leading 14 assists for 34 total points. McGarry’s soccer acumen was unmatched she was the Lady Knights primary kicker for their set plays and corner kicks. She also converted every penalty kick that she took. Like Saritelli, she could create her own scoring opportunities or set-up a teammate.
“‘Cait’ possesses great fine skills and has excellent free kicks,” Grassini said. “She took most of our corner kicks and created many scoring opportunities with them picking up most of her assists. We are not surprised that she was selected to the NSCAA All-Northeast Region Team as a freshman. We look for bigger and brighter things from Caitlin next season.”
Lady Knights lose to undefeated D-I ASA
The CCRI Lady Knights basketball team hosted the undefeated (7-0) Division I Avengers of ASA College on Saturday afternoon. The Lady Knights lost 53-44 to snap their eight-game win streak. With the loss, the Lady Knights fell to 8-3 on the season.
The Lady Knights knew they would be in for their toughest test so far this season against an undefeated ASA squad that featured five regulars who are six feet or taller. With their height and athleticism, the Avengers average 19 steals, 18 assists, 53 rebounds and 75 points per game. Though they were up against a very tough opponent, the Lady Knights played very hard in a losing effort, coming up just short to their Division I opponent but holding them to their lowest point total of the year with 53 points.
However, the Lady Knights had a hard time putting the ball in the basket themselves, scoring just 25 points in the first half and 19 in the second on just 27 percent shooting from the floor. In addition to CCRI’s shooting percentage, ASA out-rebounded the Lady Knights 48-27 and forced 24 turnovers.
With both teams struggling from the floor the Lady Knights went into halftime trailing 27-25. The Lady Knights kept it close in the second half, trailing just 40-39 with 6:57 left in the game, but the size and athleticism of ASA would prove to be the difference as they held-off CCRI down the stretch to pull away.
Leading the way for the Lady Knights was Jahira Smith (Norwich, Conn.), who scored 14 points with five rebounds, four steals and two assists. Smith was helped by Treedy Ward (Boynton, Beach, Fla.) with 11 points and five assists, Jenna Ayala (Patterson, N.J.) with six points and six rebounds and Jess Randall (Warwick, R.I.) with six points four rebounds.
“We knew it was going to be a challenging game,” head coach Kate Lynch said. “They’re much bigger that we are. We really had to focus on the defensive end and be aware of our help side defense. I think we did a lot of positive things. We made a few mental errors in the last two minutes of the game that cost us a bit. I am happy with the effort. We had some people step-up off the bench.”