Thursday the CCRI women’s soccer team traveled to Franklin Massachusetts to take on Region XXI rival Bulldogs of Dean College for their final regional game of the season. The Lady Knights defeated the Bulldogs 3-0. With the victory the Lady Knights improve to 9-4-1 overall and end the season a perfect 6-0 record in Region XXI play. In addition, with the victory the Lady Knights earned their 14th consecutive Region XXI Title.
Weather conditions were quite poor as both teams were battered with windswept heavy rain throughout the entire match. However, the Lady Knights didn’t let the conditions affect them and five minutes into the contest freshman forward Catherine Lopes (Warren, FL) collected an errant Dean pass and blasted a high rising shot over the outstretched goalkeeper giving CCRI a quick 1-0 lead. The Lady Knights continued to threaten the Dean goal from that point forward. About halfway through the half freshman midfielder Ashley DellaVentura (Cranston, RI) received a pass from Lopes, got around the Dean defender and placed a beautiful shot low and to the far corner of the net giving CCRI a 2-0 advantage. CCRI continued to dominate the half creating numerous additional scoring chances. With approximately 10 minutes remaining in the half sophomore midfielder Carla Porras (Narragansett, RI) collected a pass out in front of the Dean goal from sophomore Co-Captain Stepheny Perez (Providence, RI) and placed a shot high into the top corner of the net giving CCRI a commanding 3-0 halftime lead.
In the second half began both teams battled hard to make the best of the weather and field conditions. It took the Lady Knights a while to get jump started again giving Dean a little bit of momentum which didn’t last all that long. CCRI continued to dominate but missed on numerous scoring opportunities as they put tremendous pressure on the Dean defense with numerous shots. The Lady Knights created 13 corner kicks throughout the match keeping the Bulldogs back on their heels. With the 3-0 lead and no scoring in the second half of play CCRI never looked back as the game would end with a 3-0 CCRI victory. Catherine Lopes led the Lady Knights’ offense with a goal and an assist on the day and goalkeeper Jennifer Kilburn (Norton, MA) recorded her 7th shutout victory of the season.
Head Coach Dennis Grassini commented after the game: “Weather conditions were bad for both teams today but Coach (Kathy) Bannan and I was pleased with our team’s play in very adverse weather conditions. They came here today to win this game and that’s what they did! They were not going to be denied. They knew that this game meant the Region title and they really wanted it.”
The next game for the Lady Knights will be Wednesday the 29th when they will host a very formidable Pride of Springfield College JV squad to the CCRI soccer complex in Lincoln for their final game of the 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.