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Knights fall to AIC 4-2 in season finale
the CCRI Knights men’s soccer team traveled to Springfield, MA to play the Yellow Jackets of American International College. The Knights four-game winning streak came to an end as they fell to the Yellow Jackets 4-2. With the loss the Knights season ends with a 6-8 record and 5-3 record while in Region XXI play.
On Tuesday they learned that Dean College at beaten Massasoit Community College 3-2 which eliminated them from post season play. Head Coach Gabe Toro had a difficult job of getting the team motivated to stay in this final game of the season for the entire 90 minutes. The Knights scored first and looked relaxed during the first half. Michael Gomes(Cumberland, RI) was dribbling near the Yellow Jackets box and he combined with Manny Alves (Pawtucket, RI) as he broke into the box to unleash a solid shot into the back of the AIC net to give the Knights the 1-0 lead. Going into the half the Knights seemed lethargic despite the 1-0 lead.
The second half the Knights came out flat and with no energy which allowed AIC to score early in the half to tie the game at 1-1. From there AIC scored three more goals, one right after the other making the score 4-1 Yellow Jackets. The Knights scored a second goal with about eight minutes left in the game to make the score 4-2 as Servi Barrientos(Providence, RI) assisted Sebastian Estriplet (Pawtucket, RI). Estriplet scored a nice goal as he ran onto the ball passed by Barrientos and chipped it over the goal keeper. The Knights had several opportunities to score during the game but were lacking focus to finish. Jerson Gomes (Pawtucket, RI) and Michael Gomes had a good game, creating some chances for the team. Coach Toro did not have Tri-Captain Emmanuel Ridore (Warwick, RI) available for the game because of an injury he sustained during the last game.
The Knights’ goalkeeper Zach Caron (Seekonk, MA) had eight saves in the game. Coach Toro commented “I have been very impressed with Zach’s performance all year long and I believe he has the qualities to play at the next level. Our defense also did a great job for us this year: Michael Keegan (East Greenwich, RI) and Chris Lopes (Pawtucket, RI) made significant contributions throughout the year. Chris Munoz (Talcahuano, Chile) and Damon Georgiou(Portsmouth, RI) along with Brian Rego (Rehoboth, MA) also created a solid back line for the Knights throughout the year. The Knights also had good substitutes that contributed on the training ground as well as in several games. Kevin Laynez (Providence, RI) came in to help the defenders and William Pickering (Warwick, RI) and Bennett Thompson(Glocester, RI) were both versatile players that could fill in multiple positions on the field when needed. Overall, the coaching staff was proud of the team and the push they made towards the end of the season. I am looking forward to working with the freshman who played this year next year. The coaching staff wants to thank Sophomores Luis Espinal(Pawtucket, RI) and Emmanuel Ridore for their dedication, hard work and all the contributions they made to the soccer program. These two players played for two years for the Knights and were captains this year. They represent what student-athletes are all about with their work ethic and positive leadership on and off the field.”