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Knights downed by Essex 3-1
The CCRI Knights men’s soccer team traveled to Newark, NJ to compete in a tournament hosted by Essex Community College. Teams invited to the tournament were: Bryant Stratton College, Massasoit Community College, the Community College of Rhode Island and host school Essex County College. The CCRI Knights played Wolverines of Essex County College on Saturday. The Knights lost to the Wolverines 3-1. With the loss the Knights fall to 2-7 on the season.
The game time conditions and heat were made worse due to the Astroturf playing surface, a surface that the Knights do not prefer to play on. The Knights played an excellent first half. The Knights opened up the scoring as Servi Barrientos (Providence, RI) sliced through the Essex defense to serve up the ball for Michael Gomes (Cumberland, RI) inside the 18-yard box. Gomes’ calm finishing ability proved to be deadly as he volleyed the ball into the back of the net. That goal gave the Knights a 1-0 halftime lead.
Head Coach Gabe Toro commented “Our consistency this year has been a problem and at the start of the second half this pattern aroused once again. We lost control of the tempo and possession of the ball. When the game turns into a run and chase game, it goes away from our strength and it played into the Essex style of play.” With that Essex scored two goals within eight minutes of each other to take a 2-1 lead. The last goals they scored came off a questionable call by the official that resulted in a free kick. Knights’ Goalkeeper Zack Caron (Seekonk, MA) was able to get his hands on the ball, but the defense was slow to jump and clear the ball out of the box which resulted on the final goal in a 3-1 loss for the Knights. Caron had 14 saves on the day. The Knights activated Chris Munoz-Cortez (Talcahuano, Chile) who got the start in this game joining Michael Keegan (East Greenwich, RI) in the heart of the defense and did an excellent job of absorbing the speedy offense of the Essex team, beating them with intelligence and anticipation of play. They were joined by Brian Rego (Rehoboth, MA) and Chris Lopes (Pawtucket, RI) who played outside defenders also did a great job in slowing down the Essex offense. Tri-Captains Luis Espinal (Pawtucket, RI), Emmanuel Ridore (Warwick, RI) and Manny Alves (Pawtucket, RI) all held the midfield and were able to get good combinations going as they tested the Essex defense with passing and their ability to control the tempo of the game with their skills. Coach Toro added “Our coaching staff was impressed with the half time effort but we need more consistency from the players, the game is 90 minutes not 45.”
The Knights were fired up to play Bryant Stratton College Sunday at noon.