WORKING HARD: Warwick native and CCRI player Caitlin McGary looks to gain control during a game this season.
The No. 10 ranked CCRI Lady Knights soccer team wrapped up their season-opening road trip this past weekend by defeating CCBC Essex 2-1 in an overtime thriller. With the victory, the Lady Knights began the season 2-0.
Essex came out strong and hard and dominated the play early, as the Lady Knights could not seem to get things in sync. In the 12th minute of play Essex’s Breanna Gain scored the game’s first goal as she parked a shot high into the CCRI goal off of a corner kick, giving the Knights of CCBC-Essex a 1-0 advantage. As play continued through the first half both teams had their chances. Essex was more aggressive, but the Lady Knights managed to keep them of the board for the rest of the half.
As the second half of play continued, Essex continued its aggressive play, beating CCRI to ball and creating some scoring opportunities. However, CCRI had some chances of its own that it could not convert on. CCRI finally broke the ice and tied the score with just three minutes to go in regulation time as freshman forward Paige Oram (Burrillville) scored on a beautiful header in front of the Essex goal on a free kick cross from sophomore captain forward Brittany LeClair (Westerly).
Both teams would then proceed to overtime, two 10-minute sudden death halves (golden goal). As the first overtime period began, the rejuvenated Lady Knights pressed on the Essex defense with a few scoring chances. Play continued back-and-forth until sophomore captain Caitlin McGarry (Warwick) managed to get through the Essex defense on a partial breakaway. McGarry took a wicked shot from about 16 yards out, making the Essex goalkeeper, Katlynn Red move and having the ball go off of her hands and then hitting the post. Sophomore midfielder Jessica Sandin (Warwick) was there to bang in ball into the goal off of the rebound from the post to give the Lady Knights the dramatic victory.
“We really came out flat today and we were lucky enough to get the win, but it certainly wasn’t pretty as Essex seemed to have us back on our heels all game long,” CCRI head coach Dennis Grassini said. “We looked a bit tired having played the day before. You’ve got to give Essex credit as they played very well. However, our team never gave up and we managed to pick up the victory. Our goalkeeper Alex Place (East Greenwich) made a fantastic save in regulation allowing us to stay within range of tying the score. It was kind of an ugly game on our part but we’ll take this victory, learn from it, and move forward.”
The Lady Knights next game will be Thursday and it will be their Region XXI opener, as they will travel to play the Warriors of Massasoit Community College in Brockton, Mass. for a 3:30 p.m. match.
Lady Knights rock Rockville in season opener
The No. 10 ranked CCRI Women’s soccer team traveled to Maryland this past weekend to face off against No. 1 ranked and defending Division III National Champion Raptors of Montgomery-Rockville College. Last year, the Lady Knights lost a hard-fought 4-3 game in overtime and the squad was looking to be on the winning side this year. That is exactly what they did, winning wire to wire by a score of 5-1. With the victory, the Lady Knights begin the season 1-0.
It didn’t take long for the Lady Knights to get on the board as McGarry scored an unassisted goal in the 13th minute of play. McGarry blasted a 20-yard shot high and into the top corner of the Rockville goal. The Raptors goalkeeper, Ashley Latter, had no chance as the shot was perfectly placed. In the 25th minute Sandin scored on a nice pass from McGarry, giving CCRI a 2-0 advantage. With just a few minutes left in the half, CCRI was awarded an indirect free kick from about 20 yards out.
Freshman defender Janessa Choquette (Chepachet) touched the ball over to McGarry who blasted a hard shot right through the hands of the Rockville goalkeeper giving the Lady Knights a 3-0 lead at the half.
As the second half began, CCRI continued to dominate play by playing strong defense and balanced offensively. Just twelve minutes into the half, freshman forward Oram scored her first career goal in a scramble in front of the Raptor net giving CCRI a 4-0 lead. In the 25th minute of play, freshman midfielder Betti Worth (Bolton, England) scored an unassisted goal as she blasted a shot from 18 yards out past the Raptor’s goalkeeper giving the Lady Knights a 5-0 advantage. Play continued on with some offensive burst by both teams, but CCRI was able to keep Rockville off the scoreboard until they were awarded a free kick in CCRI’s defensive zone in the 34th minute. The Raptor’s Rachel Anderson scored off of the free kick making the final score 5-1. Place recorded her first win in her collegiate career.
“Coach Bannan and I were quite pleased with our team’s effort today,” Grassini said. “Everyone played hard and the team is already starting to jell as a unit. This was a good win to start the season off on the right track.”