Warwick, R.I. – October 3, 2016: The CCRI women’s soccer team hosted the No. 16 ranked (NJCAA DI poll) Lady Tribunes of Monroe Community College from Rochester, NY on Saturday in Lincoln. CCRI fell to the Lady Tribunes 4-3 in Overtime. With the loss the Lady Knights drop to 5-4 on the season.
In the beginning of the match both teams played pretty evenly feeling each other out. But in the 17th minute of play the Tribunes struck first when freshman defender Bayley Kralik scored off a rebounded shot making the score 1-0. However, in the twentieth minute of play CCRI’s freshman forward Mercedes Faust (Warwick, RI) stole the ball from a Monroe defender and scored knotting the game at 1-1. Then, in a flash just one minute and fifteen seconds later sophomore midfielder Faithe Fernandez (North Providence, RI) crossed the ball from deep in the corner and into the Monroe goal crease where freshman Gabby Caruso (Cranston, RI) deflected the ball over to Mercedes Faust who scored again to give the Lady Knights a 2-1 advantage with her second goal of the match. Just before the half ended about twelve minutes later Faust struck yet again breaking in on the Monroe defense putting a shot high into the upper right corner over the outreached Monroe goalkeeper Caitie Broderick for her third goal of the first half. The goal gave the mercurial freshman forward Mercedes Faust her third hat trick of the year. The half would end with the Lady Knights having a commanding 3-1 advantage.
As the second half of play began Monroe came out strong and hard. In the tenth minute of play freshman midfielder Eleni Markou , and international import from Kastoria, Greece, was fouled in the 18 yard box and was awarded a penalty kick. Markou hit the inside of the top crossbar but the ball hit off the CCRI goalkeeper Ashley Van Bemmelen’s (North Providence, RI) back and went into the net. With the score now 3-2 the Lady Tribunes continued to press the CCRI defense peppering the CCRI goal with shots. The shots included another penalty kick from Markou who utilized a stutter step to try and mess with Van Bemmelen’s timing but the shot hit the left post and deflected wide of the net. However, in the twenty first minute Markou struck again with a long range shot on the upper corner knotting the score at 3-3. Both teams battled for the remainder of the half ending deadlocked at the end of regulation play.
In the first overtime period both teams continued to battle with Monroe having the edge in play. In the 7th minute of sudden death Monroe’s freshman midfielder, Elin Eklund parked a long shot high into the CCRI goal from 25 yards out giving the Tribunes the sudden death victory. Van Bemmelen made a valiant effort as the ball deflected off her hands into the upper 90 of the net. CCRI’s Van Bemmelen put on a show in net for the Lady Knights as she thwarted many Tribunes attacks on goal which amounted in a whopping 31 saves on the day which is just short of the CCRI individual single game saves record of 35 saves set by Christine Davis in 1998.
Head Coach Dennis Grassini commented after the game. “We are so proud of our team today and the way they played! Even though the result was not what we wanted Coach Bannan and I though our team played so tenacious and physical today not backing down from a highly skilled top twenty team. They never gave up throughout the entire match and played hard right to the very end. Monroe is always very good but our kids really came to play today and almost pulled off the upset. Mercedes Faust was just non-stop today giving the Monroe defensive corps fits all day. Keeper Ashley Van Bemmelen and the rest of our team played great as well! We are very proud of our team’s efforts today!”
The next game for the Lady Knights will be Wednesday the 5th when they travel to Brockton, MA to play the Warriors of Massasoit Community College for a Region XXI non-league game at 3:30pm.
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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.