Contact InformationDennis Grassini
Associate Head Coach
Head Athletic Trainer
About the Program - Women's Soccer
- A History of Winning
- Mission Statement
- The CCRI Tradition Continues
- Conduct Statement
- 2011 Outlook
- 2009 District Champions
- 2008 Region XXI Champions
- 2007 Region XXI Champions
- 2006 Region XXI Champions
- 2005 Region XXI Champions
- 2004 Region XXI Champions
- 2003 NJCAA National Runner-Up
- 2003 District Champions
- 2003 Region XXI Champions
- 2002 NJCAA National Champions
The Community College of Rhode Island Soccer program is committed to creating the opportunity for it's student-athletes to attain outstanding academic and athletic performance.
The success of last year's team, 2002 NJCAA National Champions, was due, in part, to the success of the individual players who dedicated themselves to being the best they could be. The time spent off-season in the weight room, and on the indoor circuit pushing themselves to the limit, paid off with the team competing for the Region XXI Championship for the eighth consecutive year.
The long practices in the setting sun have started again, the soccer team is pushing themselves to the limit and beyond, knowing that the hard work will pay off on game days with victories. The 2003 Community College Women's Soccer Team has worked hard, and has already seem the fruits of their labor, by being ranked 1st in the country in preseason polls.
But for the 2003 soccer team, and the eight preceding soccer teams at CCRI, the hard work on the field is only a part of the story. CCRI has always been proud of the academic exploits of its athletes, and the 2002 soccer team is no exception. It is a combination of the strength of CCRI and an understanding on the part of the coaching staff that allows players room to grow academically. The way the athletic program is structured, we just don't hinder anyone from succeeding academically. The coaching staff is just as proud of an Academic All-American as we are of soccer All-American.
CCRI, which competes in the New England Region XXI of the National Junior College Athletic Association is pretty unique, in that, it is steadfast that academics come first. The player that has two loves--success academically and the opportunity to play college soccer has found a place at CCRI.
We have proven we can do both.
As members of the varsity women's soccer program here at the Community College of Rhode Island, you are all outstanding student-athletes. It is important to note that the opportunity you have to represent your institution and this program should not be taken lightly.
You are to recognize that as student-athletes you are the most visible members of the student body, that you are role models in the local communities, and that your actions are reflective of the entire program and athletic department.
All student behavior, as you are aware, is subject to review by the college according to its Code of Conduct. The Community College of Rhode Island, the athletic department, and its staff do not condone the use of any drug or alcohol. Such actions may include suspension from practice, competitions, and/or removal from the program.
The mission of the athletic program is to provide an environment where the athlete can reach his or her potential, academically, athletically, and personally. Through it's many support services, the department gives the opportunity for the athlete to excel.
The purpose of this information is to provide some basis for making decisions regarding behavior and level of commitment associated with being a member of the CCRI Women's Soccer Program.
The CCRI women’s soccer team will return three student-athletes in 2010, including captains Lauren Saritelli (Coventry, R.I.), Haley Durkin (Cumberland, R.I.) and Rebecca D’Andrea (Cumberland, R.I.). Veteran players will be joined by 15 new freshmen to round out the squad roster.
This year’s team needs to develop cohesive- ness, which will only come through game experience and coaching staff is confident they have recruited talented student-athletes who can compete at the regional, district, and national levels of play.
“Being such a young team everyone will learn from every situation,” said Head Coach Dennis Grassini. “The returning players will play a big role in helping to create the needed team chemistry for us to be successful. The goal this season is to retain the New England Region XXI title and advance to the District playoffs with the hope of advancing to the NJCAA National Championships again.”
Both coaches feel that the team contains strong leadership qualities from this year’s captains. “That leadership, combined with the talent of our new student-athletes, will be the foundation for our goals this season to become a reality,” Grassini said.
The CCRI women’s soccer team, ranked No. 14 ranked by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), finished the 2010 season with an 11-4-2 record. The Lady Knights competed in the Northeast District G championship game to conclude the season, losing 1-0 to Monroe Community College.
Seven players earned All-Region XXI honors, including Melody Lawrence (Foster, R.I.), Kelsey Pomerleau (Brockton, Mass.), Stephanie Estacio (Cranston, R.I.), Rebecca D’Andrea (Cumberland, R.I.), Vanessa DeMelo (Fall River, Mass.), Lauren Saritelli (Coventry, R.I.) and Courtney Pellon (Douglas, Mass.). Lawrence, DeMelo, Estacio and Saritelli also received NSCAA All-Northeast Region honors.
Lawrence, a tri-captain who received First Team All-American honors from the NJCAA and NSCAA in 2009, had another banner year in net for the Lady Knights earning Honorable Mention All-American honors from the NJCAA and Second Team All-American from the NSCAA. Lawrence broke two career records, improving her career goals against average to .58 over Anne Kineke’s .61 career mark, and boasting 23 career shutouts over Alex Rothemich’s 21 during the 2002 and 2003 seasons. She was also selected as the Eyewitness News Cardi’s Hometown Hero by local TV channels 12 and 64 during the week of Sept. 27.
DeMelo, a tri-captain for the Lady Knights, commanded the midfield orchestrating the offense and taking corners and free kicks. She led the team in assists with 13 and was tied for the lead in scoring, adding three goals for 19 total points. Her career point total was five goals and 14 assists for 24 total points.
Estacio, a returning NSCAA Second Team All-American and 2009 All-Region XXI and NSCAA All-Northeast Region, was the Lady Knights’ last line of defense as the team’s sweeper. Tri-captain Pomerleau, joined Estacio on defense for the last two seasons. She was often charged with stopping the other team’s playmakers.
Pellon was the team’s most skilled sophomore forward. She was tied for the lead in scoring in 2010 with six goals and seven assist for 19 total points. Her career scoring total was eight goals and seven assists for 23 total points.
Freshman newcomers also made strong contributions during the Lady Knights’ 2010 season. Saritelli tied for second in scoring with six goals and six assists for 18 total points. D’Andrea, one of the smallest players on the field, made up for any lack of size with tremendous speed, quickness and heart on defense. She also showed offensive skills, scoring three goals and adding three assists for nine total points.
2009 SEASON SUMMARY
The CCRI Lady Knights soccer team ended their season with a 17-3 record, winning their ninth consecutive Region XXI title and their first District title since 2003 when the team was the NJCAA Division I women's soccer runner-up. Seven players were selected First Team All-Region XXI. Head Coach Dennis Grassini was voted National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Coach of the Year for the North Region of Division I women's soccer.
The Lady Knights began the season winning their first seven games before falling to district rival Monroe Community College 2-0 on Sept. 26. That loss served as a wake-up call to the team and they went on to win their eight remaining regular season games, including a dramatic 1-0 victory versus No. 10 ranked Schoolcraft College from Livonia Mich., a team that later made it to the 2009 NJCAA National Championship Tournament. During the regular season, the Lady Knights gave-up only two goals, both to Monroe Community College. Freshman Goalkeeper Melody Lawrence set two new school records with eight consecutive shutouts and 15 total shutouts.
CCRI continued their winning ways in the District G Northeast District Tournament, but it did not come easy. In their first game, the team squared-off against Mercer County Community College of Trenton, N.J., a team they beat 6-0 in September, but in this game Mercer came out on fire, scoring two quick goals and almost a third putting the Lady Knights on their heels. The Lady Knights responded with four unanswered goals, for a hard-fought 4-2 victory.
In the second game of the District G Northeast District Tournament, the Lady Knights defeated Monroe Community College by a score of 2-0. Midfielder Stephanie Morse was credited with shutting down Monroe's Anne Beinetti, setting up scoring opportunities and blocking opponent's shots. Sophomore Ashley Choiniere scored the game-winning goal.
With the win, the Lady Knights advanced to the NJCAA National Championship Tournament at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas. The team lost 1-0 to Paradise Valley Community College as well as a double overtime battle against Polk State College, the No. 1 ranked team in the nation, by a score of 3-2 to end their record-breaking season.