The CCRI men’s soccer team started off its 2012 season Sunday at the CCRI soccer complex in Lincoln by hosting the Vikings of Mercer County Community College from Trenton, N.J. The Knights fell to the Vikings 2-1 in a tightly contested game. With the loss, the Knights began the season 0-1.
Coach Gabe Toro scheduled this game with Mercer because it has a strong program and he wanted to start off the year with a tough schedule to challenge his players early. The game started with freshman keeper Rob Gallucci (Coventry) anchoring a strong defensive unit.
“All four defenders played a solid game and were impressive throughout the match,” Toro said.
That unit included Ian Duncan (Barrington) and Preston Kar (Providence) – who played the outside backs – with Chris Munoz and Marvin Gutierrez (Central Falls) controlling the center of the pitch. A combination of experience, hard work and execution made the defensive line difficult to penetrate for the Vikings.
The Knights opened up the scoring with sophomore striker Prince Tahyor (Providence), who capitalized on a mistake by the Vikings and sprinted on to the ball and put it by the Vikings goalkeeper in the 17th minute, giving the Knights a 1-0 lead.
Unfortunately, after a questionable call by the official later in the half, Mercer was awarded a penalty kick. To compound the problem, Gallucci had to leave the game because of blood on his jersey. While trainers attended to Gallucci, Derek Soares (Pawtucket) stepped-up to replace him. Soares’ couldn’t quite get to the penalty kick, and Mercer was able to score and tied the game 1-1.
In the second half, the Knights made some lineup changes and also changed their formation towards the last 15 minutes of the game. Despite the good effort and quality of play the Knights gave up another goal on a free kick with four minutes left in the game.
The Knights next game is against the Cougars of Manchester Community College from Manchester, Conn. It will be a Region XXI non-league game in Lincoln on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Lady Knights defeated by Monroe College
The No. 10 ranked CCRI women’s soccer team hosted the Mustangs of Monroe College from New Rochelle, N.Y. for their first home game of the 2012 season. The Lady Knights suffered their first loss of the season, falling 4-0 to the Mustangs. With the loss, CCRI fell to 3-1 on the season.
The Mustang’s All-American striker Mikaela Howell scored two goals in the first half of play and one goal in the second half of play to lead Monroe to their third victory of the season. Another British striker from Monroe, Charlotte Branch, also scored a goal in the second half on a nice feed in from former Croatian national player Sandra Zigic. Though the Mustangs scored four times, the game was far tighter than the score would indicate as both teams had scoring opportunities with Monroe capitalizing and CCRI falling short.
Both teams battled in the first half of play, each having scoring opportunities. However, Howell scored her two first-half goals to give Monroe a 2-0 advantage at the break. As the second half of play began, Monroe was awarded a free kick in the third minute right outside the 18-yard box on the left side, deep in the CCRI defensive end of the field. Zigic took the free kick and Branch headed the ball directly into the CCRI goal, giving Monroe a 3-0 advantage. In the 23rd minute of the second half, Howell struck again on an unassisted goal, her third of the game to seal the victory.
“We got beat today by a very good team but we do not feel that the score really indicates how hard our team fought all game long,” CCRI head coach Dennis Grassini said. “We had our scoring chances but we just didn’t make the most of our opportunities today.”
The Lady Knights will travel to Springfield College in Springfield, Mass. today for a 7 p.m. match against the Springfield College JV team.
Lady Knights Beat Massasoit CC
The No. 10 ranked CCRI Lady Knights women’s soccer team traveled to Brockton, Mass. last week to take on the Warriors from Massasoit Community College. The Lady Knights defeated the Warriors 9-0 in a lopsided Region XXI interdivision game. With the victory the Lady Knights improved to 3-0 on the season and 1-0 in Region XXI play.
The leading scorer for CCRI was freshman forward Paige Oram (Burrillville), who recorded a hat trick and added two assists on the day. Sophomore captains Cait McGarry (Warwick) and Jessica McCaughey (Warwick) each chipped in with a goal apiece, while McGarry also added two assists. Freshman midfielder Betti Worth (Bolton, England) scored twice. Freshman midfielder Jen Kittila (Warwick) and sophomore Jessica Sandin (Warwick) rounded out the scoring on the afternoon. Freshman goalkeeper Alex Place (East Greenwich) recorded the first shutout of her collegiate career.