Warwick, R.I. – December 15, 2014: The CCRI Lady Knights soccer team had another successful which season ended in early November when they finished the season with an impressive 10-5-1 record and 14th straight Region XXI Championship. Their final games was a valiant effort against National Champion Mustangs of Monroe College which shows that their wins came against a very tough schedule that featured multiple ranked teams. This week the Lady Knights were awarded by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) with three post season awards. The team was awarded The College Team Ethics & Sportsmanship Silver Award for 2014. In addition, two of their players: sophomore Co-Captain Stepheny Perez (Providence, RI) and freshman Goalkeeper Jennifer Kilburn (Norton, MA) were named to the NSCAA All-North Region Team.
The College Team Ethics & Sportsmanship Award is awarded to any team with 1-5 yellow cards and no red cards for the entire season which speaks to the ethical nature with which the Lady Knights played their season during some very highly competitive matches the CCRI squad always played with talent and passion but had the composure and skill to play within the parameters of the game with sportsmanship and with an ethical nature.
Stepheny Perez had already earned All-Region XXI honors for the second year in 2014 she was the top scorer for the Lady Knights with a team-high 10 goals was tied for the team-high with four assists for a total of 24 points. Now Perez earns her third All-Region honor to go with her two NJCAA All-Region XXI honors. Last year she was tied for second on the team in scoring with seven goals and 12 assists for 26 total points giving her 17 goals and 16 assists for her career. Perez was the primary taker of corner kicks and set pieces for the Lady Knights and many of her services led to scoring opportunities for her and her teammates. With a combination of ball handling ability and a super strong leg she was always a scoring threat for CCRI from anywhere on the pitch. Head Coach Dennis Grassini commented on his dynamic playmaker: "Stepheny gave us fantastic free kicks for the past two seasons. Her corner kicks were second to none and her other free kicks were just deadly giving our team some important goals along the way. She will be difficult to replace."
With her NSCAA Award, freshman goalkeeper Jennifer Kilburn earns her second All-Region honor in her freshman year after earning All-Region XXI honors as well in November. Kilburn joins a growing list of outstanding CCRI keepers. Under the tutelage of goalkeeping guru and Associate Head Coach Kathy Bannan, a great keeper in her own right, Kilburn flourished as a freshman. In fact she was so good that she was named NJCAA Division I National Goalkeeper of the Week for the week of September 29th-October 5th. During that week she allowed just one goal in three victories for the Lady Knights. On October 1st she led the Lady Knights past Springfield Tech where she earned her fourth shutout of the year with an 8-0 victory. From their Kilburn recorded another critical shutout versus Mercer County Community College in a 0-0 double overtime thriller to earn her fifth shutout of the year and she capped her week with a 2-1 victory over a very formidable Essex County College squad. For the season Kilburn had an impeccable 1.28 Goals Against Average allowing just 21 goals in 16 games and 1,471:14 minutes in net while making a remarkable 134 saves making as one of the best seasons ever for CCRI. Grassini commented about Kilburn: "Jennifer is by far one of the best goalkeepers we have seen this season. She is a gamer! She worked hard and played every minute of every game this season giving up only 21 goals in 16 games for a 1.28 GAA. We look for even greater things from her next season."
The Community College of Rhode Island, New England's largest comprehensive community college, enrolls nearly 18,000 students in credit courses and thousands more in non-credit and job training classes. Its athletic program boasts 12 varsity programs and an academic support program for all student-athletes.