The CCRI men's soccer team traveled to Brockton, MA to play the Warriors of Massasoit Community College for the Region XXI Championship game. The Knights and Warriors battled to a 1-1 tie after 90 minutes of regulation play and two 10- minute overtime periods which led to a penalty kick shootout. Unfortunately for the Knights they lost 4-3 in the shootout. With the victory the Warriors earn the Region XXI title and will host the Northeast District Championship next weekend in Brockton, MA. They will host the Region III, XV and XIX Champions to see whom will advance to the 2014 NJCAA Division I men’s Soccer National Championship at Yavapi College in Prescott, AZ.
The Knights had already lost to Massasoit earlier in the year on two occasions. The Knights were coming into the game ready and prepared to not let it happen again. The tempest that came through Brockton today was the Knights with the intensity and grit they brought to the game. The weather took second stage to the storm the Knight brought to the game. Head Coach Gabe Toro was extremely proud of his players. The Knights pressured and had a few chances right at the start of the game. A defensive break down allowed Massasoit to get on the score board first in the first half. Alex Padilla (Providence, RI) had a legendary game inside the goal. Padilla made some extraordinary saves throughout this game. Coach Toro commented on his Keeper “This was the best goalkeeping I have seen while I have been coaching at CCRI.”
The Knights came out in the second half fired up ready to tie things up. Evan Gaudreau (Jamestown, RI) was able to break into the 18 yard box where he is extremely dangerous. Massasoit defense took him down which resulted in a penalty kick (PK). Gaudreau was able to take the PK and put it in the back of the net to tie the game 1-1. That is how regulation time would end, in a 1-1 tie.
Coach Toro commented on his midfield “Nate DaCosta (Warwick, RI) and Brandon Silvestri (Warwick, RI) both played well in the middle of the pitch. Trevor Lopes (Cumberland, RI) left everything on the field this game, playing the outside midfield position. We (the coaching staff) asked for 90 plus minutes of effort and intensity and the players responded today, playing their hearts out.” The Knights continued to battle and fight for two ten minute overtime halves. Both teams had chances and the Knights kept the pressure on. Toro added “Adam Couto (Moosup, CT) and Chris Quinn (Cranston, RI) had incredible games today. The entire back line had fantastic games. Brandon Iannelli (North Kingstown, RI) and Logan Corcoran (Greenville, RI) hustled and contributed a great deal to the game. Coach Toro also wanted to give credit to sophomore Tri-Captain Chris Quinn who in his words “probably had the best game of his career at CCRI. The second year player showed excellent quality today, playing the right side of the defense. Adam Couto also played on another level today. Having Adam in the back brings composure and class to that difficult position as a middle defender in the back line.”
In the end penalty kicks would decide the winner of the meeting. Junior Robert (Providence, RI) and David Moreno (Warwick, RI) both played strong and aggressive up top as forwards for the Knights. Junior would be asked to step up to take a penalty kick for the Knights. In the penalty kicks Evan Gaudreau scored first and Junior Robert scored their shots. Alex Padilla blocked a shot giving the Knights the momentum. The next two kickers for the Knights were not able to finish Massasoit off. Massasoit's goalkeeper made two saves and gave them the win.
Coach Toro stated after the game: “Once you get to penalty kicks, it is almost like playing the lottery because anything can happen. We had some quality chances during the game and if we put those away early we would not put ourselves in this situation. I am extremely proud of the warrior spirit the players brought to this game. I believe the players believed in each other today and played the way they are able to play for 90 plus minutes. We accomplished our goal today even though we did not win.” Coach Toro looks forward to having several of the freshmen back next year to make a good run for the championship.
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.