CCRI women’s soccer team rolled past Dean College last Wednesday 9-1, capturing the Region XXI New England championship for the 13th year in a row.
In addition, CCRI celebrated Sophomore Day for its eight sophomores making their last regular season appearance at the CCRI soccer complex in Lincoln. The eight sophomores honored were captain Alex Place (East Greenwich), captain Betti Worth (Manchester, England), captain Paige Oram (Burrillville), Erin Rodriguez (Tiverton), Jenn Kittila (Warwick), Missy Richards (Coventry), Taylor Lopes (Cumberland) and Jess Hammond (Warwick).
The Lady Knights started the scoring onslaught early and never looked back. In just the second minute of play CCRI took an early 1-0 lead as Oram scored an unassisted goal and three minutes later Oram scored again on a pass from freshman midfielder Carla Porras (Narragansett).
However Dean got on the board shortly after as forward Arianna Medeiros scored as she got around a CCRI defender and placed a shot along the ground and into the corner of the CCRI goal.
This seemed to jump start the Lady Knights, as just one minute later Richards scored on a pass from Worth.
With 10 minutes remaining in the half, Kittila scored on a beautiful header off of a corner kick from freshman Stepheny Perez (Providence), giving CCRI a commanding 4-1 advantage. Just three minutes later, freshman Ashley LeClair (Westerly) converted on a double assist play from Oram and Kittila. With five minutes left in the half, Kittila scored on a high lofting sho,t giving CCRI a 6-1 halftime lead.
The halftime break did not seem to halt CCRI’s momentum as Porras netted the Lady Knights seventh goal on a pass from Perez just four minutes into the half. Three minutes later, Worth scored an unassisted goal. Worth and the Lady Knights weren’t done yet, she scored again on a pass from Porras with nine minutes remaining in the match.
With the victory, CCRI closed out the regular season with a 10-6-1 overall record. The Lady Knights now advance to the District playoffs that will be held at CCRI in Lincoln on November 9-10. The district champion will advance to the NJCAA National Championship.
“Our team came out smoking today as they knew what was at stake,” head coach Dennis Grassini said. “They were all over Dean today. The coaching staff is proud of the way our team played today. They executed some great passing and scoring ability. However, our work is not done as the district playoffs will be much more difficult and intense but I think our team is up for it.”
The Lady Knights have a bit of a break as they prepare to host the District Championships. The District Championship schedule will be released once the other region champions have been determined.
Palkovic and DePina pace Knights’ runners at Mayors’ Cup
The CCRI Knights cross country runners traveled to Franklin Park in Boston to compete in the 23rd Annual Mayor’s Cup races. Dave Palkovic (Middletown) ran in the eight-kilometer men’s championship race and finished 99th, while the rest of the team competed in the 5k club race. In the club race, the Knights finished fifth out of 10 teams with 79 total points, while the Boston Athletic club won the 5k team event with 17 points.
Palkovic finished in a time of 27:28. The overall winner of the race was Cameron Bean, running for the club team of Zap Fitness Reebok. Palkovic bettered his personal-best time on this course by 44 seconds.
Alfredo DePina (Central Falls) led the Knights in the club race, placing 26th in a time of 18:29, followed by Britton Laney (Pascoag) who placed 38th in a career-best time of 18:56. Rounding out the Knights’ scores used for the three-man team event was Isaiah Hector (Warwick), who placed 45th in a time of 19:13. Also running for the Knights was Joseph Gareri (Uxbridge, Mass.) who placed 133rd in a time of 21:39.
The next meet for the Knights will be Saturday, Nov. 9 when they travel to Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, IA for the NJCAA Division I Cross Country National Championships for an 11 a.m. start.
Knights end season with win over Roxbury
The CCRI men’s soccer team ended their season on a good note Saturday afternoon, edging Roxbury Community College 5-4 on Sophomore Day for the Knights. The Knights finished the season with an overall record of 4-11 and a Region XXI record of 4-5.
Coming out with an offensive look, the Knights’ aggressiveness paid off instantly. Just four minutes into the game, Junior Robert (Providence) finished off a nice feed from Freddy Korsah (Accra, Ghana) to give the Knights an early 1-0 lead.
Before the end of the half, Chris Quinn (Cranston) found the back of the net twice, with one assist going to Chris Fernandes (Cranston) and the other to Adam Corey (North Kingstown), giving the Knights a comfortable 3-1 lead at the half.
To start the second half, Toro made a substitution, inserting Luis Duarte (Pawtucket) into the lineup. That move paid instant dividends, as Duarte nailed a shot past the Roxbury goalkeeper just two minutes into the half, giving the Knights a 4-1 cushion. Corey picked up his second assist of the game on the goal.
The Knights looked like they were going to run away with the game, but Roxbury’s Credoritch Joseph had other ideas. The freshman from Haiti single-handedly kept his team in the game, scoring all four of Roxbury’s goals, including two around the midway point of the second half to cut his team’s deficit to 4-3.
However, the Knights answered right back, with Matt Bulmer (Dayville, Conn.) extending the Knights lead to 5-3 when he put away a cross into the box through traffic.
Joseph added another goal for Roxbury to make it a 5-4 game, but it was a little too late, as the Knights were able to hang on for the victory.
“I appreciate the hard work and dedication displayed by the sophomores this year,” Toro said. “They were positive role models for all of the other players. I’m happy to end the season with a win and I’ll be excited to welcome this year’s freshmen class back next year.”
Assuming all return, the Knights will welcome back 12 freshmen from this season’s roster as sophomores next year, the most ever in Toro’s reign as head coach.
Knights and Lady Knights hoop start on road this weekend
The CCRI Knights and CCRI Lady Knights basketball teams seasons begin this weekend. The Knights travel to Roxbury, Mass. to play in the Tiger Tip-off Classic on Saturday and Sunday. The Lady Knights will travel to Auburn, Maine to play Central Maine Community College on Sunday.
The Lady Knights are coming off an impressive season where they made a trip to the NJCAA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship Tournament held at Illinois Central College in East Peoria, Ill. They made it to the Elite Eight with an impressive 25-7 record. With a solid core of Allexia Barros (New Bedford, Mass.), Ahnyyah Jackson (Hackensack, N.J.) and Alison Littles (Holyoke, Mass.) returning, the Lady Knights will look to get back to the championships again this year. The team will open its season Sunday versus the Mustangs of Central Maine Community College at 4 p.m.
The Knights’ men’s basketball team is also coming off a very good season where they made an appearance in the District finals versus Monroe Community College and finished with a 20-12 record. The Knights returns three players – Pat Marchand (Cranston), Elijah Okagbare (Bourne, Mass.), and Anthony Henry (Danbury, Conn.) – who played in 2011-12. The Knights will also be looking to return to the Nationals in Danville, Ill. in March like they did in 2011-12 season. The Knights will open their season Saturday against the Tigers of Roxbury CC at 7 p.m.