08.26.12: The 10th ranked (NJCAA pre-season poll) CCRI Lady Knights soccer team wrapped up their season-opening road trip this past weekend by defeating CCBC Essex 2-1 in an overtime thriller. With the victory the Lady Knights begin the season 2-0.
Essex came out strong and hard and dominated the play early as the Lady Knights could not seem to get things in sync. In the 12th minute of play Essex’s Breanna Gain scored the game’s first goal as she parked a shot high into the CCRI goal off of a corner kick in a scramble in front of CCRI’s goal giving the Knights of CCBC-Essex a 1-0 advantage. As play continued through the first half both teams had their chances. Essex was more aggressive but the Lady Knights managed to keep them of the board for the rest of the half. They went into the break CCBC-1 CCRI-0.
As the second half of play continued Essex continued their aggressive play beating CCRI to ball and creating some scoring opportunities. However, CCRI had some chances of their own that they could not convert on. CCRI finally broke the ice and tied the score with just three minutes to go in regulation time as freshman forward Paige Oram (Burrillville) scored on a beautiful header in front of the Essex goal on a nice free kick cross from sophomore Tri-Captain forward Brittany LeClair (Westerly, RI).
Both teams would then proceed to overtime, two 10-minute sudden death halves (golden goal). As the first overtime period began the rejuvenated Lady Knights pressed on the Essex defense with a few scoring chances. Play continued back-and-forth sophomore Tri-Captain Caitlin McGarry (Warwick, RI) managed to get through the Essex defense on a partial breakaway. McGarry took a wicked shot from about 16 yards out making the Essex goalkeeper, Katlynn Red move and having the ball go off of her hands and then hitting the post. Sophomore midfielder Jessica Sandin (Warwick, RI) was there to bang in ball into the goal off of the rebound from the post to give the Lady Knights a dramatic 2-1 overtime victory!
Head Coach Dennis Grassini commented after the game: “We really came out flat today and we were lucky enough to get the win but it certainly wasn’t pretty as Essex seemed to have us back on our heels all game long. We looked a bit tired having played the day before. You’ve got to give Essex credit as they played very well. However, our team never gave up and we managed to pick up the victory. Our goalkeeper Alex Place (East Greenwich, RI) made a fantastic save in regulation allowing us to stay within range of tying the score. It was kind of an ugly game on our part but we’ll take this victory, learn from it, and move forward.”
The Lady Knights next game will be this Thursday August 30th for their Region XXI opener when they will travel to play the Warriors of Massasoit Community College in Brockton, MA for a 3:30pm match. 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.