The CCRI women’s soccer team knocked off the Tribunes of Monroe Community College in the semifinals of the District E tournament but lost to a different Monroe, the 10th-ranked Monroe College Mustangs, by a 2-1 score in Sunday’s championship.
With the loss, the Lady Knights’ season comes to an end with an impressive 11-7-1 record. The Mustangs advanced to the NJCAA Division I Women's Soccer National Championship Tournament to be held November 19-24 at Eastern Florida State College in Melbourne, Fla.
Just five minutes into the championship game Mustangs midfielder Ana Rodriques scored on a header off of a free kick that was awarded right outside the 18-yard box, giving Monroe a 1-0 lead. CCRI thought it had answered on a free kick by Stepheny Perez, but the referee ruled that the kick was supposed to be indirect, not direct.
Both teams battled back and forth from there until Monroe forward Taylor O’Leary scored on a sliding effort in front of the CCRI goal, giving the Mustangs a commanding 2-0 lead.
Midway through the second half, CCRI cut the lead in half when freshman Carla Porras (Narragansett) scored off a scramble in front of the Mustangs’ goal. Sophomore forward Melissa Richards (Coventry) assisted on the goal.
The Lady Knights kept pushing but couldn’t net the equalizer and the Mustangs prevailed.
“Coach Bannan and I are so proud of our team,” said head coach Dennis Grassini. “ They made a very respectable showing this weekend in defeating the nationally ranked No. 14 Monroe Community College on Saturday to get to the District Championship game and taking the No. 10 ranked team in the nation right down to the wire in the final. Our team has nothing to be ashamed of. They left everything they had on the field and as a coach you cannot ask for anything more than that.”
In the semifinal win, CCRI got a goal from Paige Oram (Burrillville) and made the 1-0 lead stand up. Goalkeeper Alex Place (East Greenwich) recorded her sixth shutout of the season.
Volleyball falls in district title game
The CCRI women’s volleyball team hosted the Division II District L Tournament on Saturday and Sunday. The Lady Knights dropped their opener in the double-elimination tournament, fought back with two win straight wins to get to the title game, but fell there to Monroe College.
After its opening-game loss, CCRI beat Delaware Tech 25-11, 25-11, 23-25 and 25-11 to stay alive. Janny Cabrera (Providence) notched 24 kills, Omayra Corchado (Isabela, P.R.) finished 38 digs and Alyssa Salinas (Corpus Christi, Texas) had 42 assists.
The win put the Lady Knights into a match-up with Genesee CC, where they fell behind two sets to none but rallied to win the next three by 25-18, 25-16 and 17-15 scores. Cabrera again led the charge with 24 kills. Jincy Phann (Cranston) had 14 digs.
CCRI then moved into the championship round, where it matched up again with Monroe, its first-game opponent. CCRI ran out of gas after its tourney run, falling to Monroe 25-16, 25-14 and 25-13.
The Lady Knights finished the season 14-8.
Knights run to 32nd at nationals
The CCRI Knights' cross country team traveled to Fort Dodge, Iowa, to compete in the 2013 NJCAA Division I Cross Country National Championship. David Palkovic (Middletown) led the Knights to a 32nd place finish out of 39 teams at the championship. As a team the Knights, had 900 total points. The winning team was Central Arizona College with 38 total points.
Palkovic covered the course in a time of 27 minutes and 58 seconds for a 108th place finish in a field of 298 runners. Alfredo Depina (Central Falls) was the second Knight to finish with a season-best time of 29:30, to place 197th. Depina was followed by Daniel Duquette (North Attleboro), who also ran a season-best time of 29:38 to finish in 203rd place. Isaiah Hector (Warwick) finished 252nd in a time of 31:08. Britton Laney (Pascoag) placed 262nd in a time of 31:45. Rounding out the Knights' team was Austin White (Woonsocket), who placed 287th in a time of 34:45, and Joseph Gareri (Uxbridge, Mass.) who placed 292nd in a time of 36:19.
“The Knights held their own in one of the largest fields they have run in this season,” coach Gregg Cornell said. “This is David Palkovic’s last race as a Knight. He will transfer to either Roger Williams University or Bryant University this spring term. David has been one of the most consistent runners for the Knights and will be missed. Isaiah Hector also ran in his last race as a Knight and will attend Rhode Island College this spring term and will also be missed."