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Knights bring it to Bryant & Stratton 1-0 in OT!
the Knights continued their play in the Essex County College Soccer Tournament on Sunday and faced-off against the Bobcats of Bryant & Stratton College from Syracuse, NY. The Knights defeated the Bobcats 1-0 in overtime. With the victory the Knights improve to 3-7 on the season.
The Knights were inspired to play hard on Sunday after playing a good half the day prior but not a full 90 minutes against a very formidable opponent. Head Coach Gabe Toro demanded their best, urging them to contest every ball and to play their game. Despite the difference in size, with the Bobcats being much bigger, the Knights brought the fight to their larger opponents. Coach Toro had to move some players to new positions due to injuries. Michael Keegan (East Greenwich, RI) injured himself jumping over a Bryant Stratton player on a corner kick. Though hurt, Keegan led the charge with his fighting spirit and hustle, putting off treatment until after the game. The Knights followed his lead. Tri-Captain Emmanuel Ridore (Warwick, RI) applied relentless pressure on the ball while Chris Lopes (Pawtucket, RI) played his best game of the year. Tri-Captain Luis Espinal (Pawtucket, RI) played also through injuries to contribute to the shape and structure of the midfield. Manny Alves (Pawtucket, RI) provided versatility as Coach Toro needed to move him around from offense to defense as other players became injured throughout the game. Knights’ Goalkeeper Zack Caron (Seekonk, MA) had another amazing game in net contributing six saves in the contest. In addition: Kevin Laynez (Providence, RI), Mario Barrientos (Providence, RI) and Bennett Thompson (Glocester, RI) came off the bench for the Knights to provide more reinforcements for their downed players. Coach Toro added “Two games in two days in soccer are like a mini-marathon and we needed the entire roster to contribute in the two days and they all answered the call. I asked for 90 minutes of fire and desire from our guys and they gave me 95 minutes as game went into sudden death overtime. That is all I could ask for.”
In the fourth minute of overtime Chris Lopes intercepted a pass in the midfield and then he turned on his speed to penetrate into the defense of Bryant Stratton. Emmett Dixon (Central Falls, RI) ran into space up top and Lopes found him in the lane. Dixon dealt with an onrushing Bobcats’ Goalkeeper to push the ball ahead and finish with a thundering shot into the back of the net giving the Knights the exhilarating 1-0 overtime victory. The Knights players ran onto the field in celebration tackling the heroic Dixon to the ground right after he celebrated with his own back flip. Coach Toro added “We finally got our guys to keep the foot on the gas for 90 plus minutes and the results say it all.”
The Knights host on Division I regional rival Massasoit Community College this Wednesday October 12 at 3:30pm at the CCRI soccer Complex in Lincoln.