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Lady Knights fall to Monroe CC 1-0 in OT at Districts
The No. 13 ranked (National Soccer Coaches Association of America National poll) CCRI Women’s soccer team traveled to Burlington County College in Pemberton, New Jersey to take on Region III Champion and District rival Monroe Community College from Rochester, NY. The Lady Knights lost to the Tribunes 1-0 in sudden death overtime in the District semi-final game on Friday ending their season and their hopes of participating in the NJCAA National Tournament. The Lady Knights ended the season with e very respectable 14-3 record.
As the game began CCRI really took it to the Tribunes in the first 10 minutes winning the 50/50 balls and playing quite physically. The teams played quite even throughout the rest of the first half with Monroe outshooting the Lady Knights nine to five.
The second half of play was not much different than the first with both teams playing hard and physically. Most of the play stayed consistently in the midfield area of the field with each team fighting for entrance into the other team’s end of the field looking for a scoring opportunity. Monroe had a few scoring chances but could not capitalize. One chance was denied by freshman goalkeeper Kelsey Viens (North Attleboro, MA). On the play Monroe was awarded a free kick in the Lady Knights defensive third of the field. The kick was floated up and right on goal but Viens was able to rise above the crowd in front of the net and punched the ball out giving CCRI the opportunity to clear the ball out of their zone. The teams continued to battle for the remainder of the half with the play mostly in the midfield area as the teams remained tied 0-0 at the end of regulation.
As the teams began the first 10 minute sudden death overtime period (also known as the “golden goal”) things were pretty even for the first five minutes. However, Monroe was able to penetrate CCRI’s defensive end of the field. In the 8th minute of overtime play, the Tribunes’ sophomore and leading scorer Karly Tolentino was able to get by two CCRI defenders on the right side of the goal in deep. She lofted a beautiful shot high into the upper 90 degree area of the CCRI goal giving Monroe the 1-0 sudden death overtime victory.
Head Coach Dennis Grassini commented after the game “Coach Bannan and I are so proud of our team. They did everything we asked them to do and they played their hearts out! We had some specific strategies and they executed them beautifully today. Freshman Jessica McCaughey (Warwick, RI) was given the assignment of marking Tolentino all game long and she did an outstanding job of frustrating her throughout the entire match. Tolentino was so frustrated at one point she received a yellow card. You can’t blame Jess or anyone for the goal that Tolentino scored. She is a very good player that just got away for a split second. It’s just tough for our team to swallow the loss because we counted Monroe so well today. Our defense has been outstanding all season long giving up only 14 goals in 17 games (.82 Goals Against Average) this season. We couldn’t be prouder of our group, they are a class act!