Warwick, R.I. – September 23, 2016: The CCRI Lady Knights soccer team hosted the Cougars of Holyoke Community College from Holyoke, MA on Thursday for a Region XXI non-league game. The Lady Knights lost to the Cougars 2-1. With the loss the CCRI falls to 4-3 overall and 1-1 in Region XXI play.
The Lady Knights knew that this would be the toughest contest of the year against a Region XXI opponent with Holyoke always presenting a challenged for CCRI as they are always the two premier women’s soccer clubs in New England and were the last team in the Region to defeat CCRI two years ago. This game lived up to that billing with plenty of action and tense moments.
Both teams battled closely as the game began with CCRI gaining the early edge in offensive pressure. The Lady Knights had a couple early scoring opportunities but could not convert them into goals. However in the 26 th minute CCRI Co-Captain Kaitlin Murrin (Norton, MA) tallied the first goals of the contest after receiving a long crossing pass from Riley McKitchen (Coventry, RI) giving CCRI a 1-0 advantage. A couple minutes later the Lady Knights had an opportunity to make the score 2-0 when they were awarded a penalty kick. Murrin was asked to take the shot from the penalty spot, unfortunately for the Lady Knights her shot was just wide of the left post and the score remained 1-0 CCRI. The missed penalty seemed to give Holyoke new energy as they began to force the issue offensively and they began to build serious momentum. With a minute and a half left in the first half Cougars Midfielder Natalie Galindo sent a long crossing pass into the 6-yard box that Olivia Neiswanger was able to get her head on and the ball bounced highly in front of CCRI Keeper Ashley Van Bemmelen (North Providence, RI) and as she tried to corral the ball above her head and balance on the goal line the ball just passed the plane of the goal line according to the assistant referee who awarded the goal to Holyoke to tie the score a1-1 as both teams went into the half time break.
In the second half Holyoke continued to put tremendous pressure on CCRI and maintained more possession. The Lady Knights defense stood strong anchored by the play of Van Bemmelen who made some remarkable saves to keep the game tied. However with 5:14 remaining Alexandria Stuetzel took a great shot from the left side of the goal aiming toward the bottom right corner, Van Bemmelen was abler to get her finger tips on it and deflect the ball which hit the right post and tricked into the net giving Holyoke the 2-1 advantage. CCRI battled to try and get a late equalizer but were unable to convert losing by the final tally of 2-1 in a very hard fought contest.
The next game for the Lady Knights will be next Wednesday when they will host the Rams of Springfield Technical Community College from Springfield, MA for another Region XXI non-league game.
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.