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Knights Fall to No. 3 Monroe in Season Opener


Edmilo Goncalves

Edmilo Goncalves

Warwick, R.I. – September 4, 2018: The CCRI Knights men's soccer team hosted the Mustangs of Monroe College for the home opener of the 2018 season. The Mustangs boasted a No. 3 national ranking coming into the game and the Knights would be thoroughly tested. The Knights played admirably but were unable to stop the machine that was the Mustangs. At full time, Monroe won 6-0 over the Knights.

A hot Sunday afternoon was the setting for the season opener of the 2018 campaign. The young Knights only had three returning sophomores; Dante Turano (Westerly, RI), Mouhamadou Diouf (Dakar, Senegal) and Edmilo Goncalves (Praia, Cape Verde). Monroe came out firing scoring within the first two minutes of the game. A second goal was scored seven minutes later in the ninth minute and the final goal of the first half was taken from the penalty spot in the 13th minute.

The Knights defense performed well in the air as the center back pairing of Jacob Leander (West Warwick, RI) and Anthony Serluca (Westerly, RI) won a good portion of their aerial duels. Sat in front of them, in the holding role was Mouhamadou Diouf. He was tasked with closing the passing lanes and starting counter attacks. The disciplined shape and understanding of their individual roles would hold the mustangs scoreless for the next 47 minutes. However the Mustangs would tally three more goals in the 60th, 73rd and 81st minutes.

Datyn Deasley (Warwick, RI) started between the posts for the Knights. In 70 minutes of action Deasley accumulated 12 saves from the 16 shots on target he faced. Deasley was relieved by Juan Gonzalez (Providence, RI) in the 70th minute. Gonzalez recorded three saves in his 20 minutes.

The Knights offense struggled to break the lines of the disciplined Mustang press. Monroe executed a textbook press, forcing play down one side of the field and pinching in on the passing lanes, forcing the ball to be played long to isolated strikers in a 50/50 battle. Head Coach Gabe Toro made an adjustment by bringing in Edmilo Goncalves and placing him into "the number ten role" just below the center forward. Goncalves injected a bit of creativity and pace while breaking down the lines and kick-started the Knights offensive chances.

The Knights took ten shots but managed only two shots on target. Improving on being more clinical in front of goal will go a long way this season and that feeling was echoed by Coach Toro.

Head Coach Gabe Toro: "[We] need to play with more consistency and clean up the execution. Playing together more will create this much needed cohesion."

After 90 minutes of heat and high tensions, both teams finishing with ten players as both teams had a player sent off with straight red card offenses, the score line read Monroe 6, CCRI 0.

UP NEXT: The CCRI Knights men's soccer team will be in action Thursday, September 16 at 4pm when they travel to Boston to play the Bulldogs of Bunker Hill.

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The Community College of Rhode Island, New England's largest comprehensive community college, enrolls nearly 15,000 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.