The CCRI Knights’ men’s soccer team traveled to Rochester, NY to play the Tribunes of Monroe Community College. The Knights lost to the Tribunes 5-1. With the loss the Knights’ record is now 0-5 on the season.
The Knights suited up for a rainy, dark day on the turf in Rochester. Head Coach Gabe Toro came out with a new formation to play to the strengths of the team which has been several players injured early in the season. He stated that “I have never in my coaching or playing career seen so many injuries early in the season.” Toro added “I am more frustrated because the injuries have come from ugly out of control tackles by opponents, and it is hard to recover quickly from these types of injuries. The players’ fitness has not been related to the injuries, so when you see a fit player go down after a bad tackle, it can be extremely frustrating.” Due to the injuries the coaching staff has been trying to put together a new with the remaining healthy players. The Knights came out sticking to the game plan and played a smart tactical game in the first 20 minutes of the game. They were getting use to the new system and the overall team shape looked really good. Monroe had a set piece outside the box and it resulted in a goal for them making the score 1-0. The Knights were able to hold them back during the regular flow of the game, but whenever the Tribunes had a set piece, they were able to capitalize with their size and strength. The Knights also were not able to get up and contest these incoming crosses.
Adam Corey (North Kingstown, RI), Luis Navas (Pawtucket, RI) and Justin Kue (West Warwick, RI) did well in the midfield. While the Knights had some scoring opportunities utilizing Luis Duarte (Pawtucket, RI) and Freddie Korsah (Accra, Ghana) up top. Not far from the end of the first half, another unnecessary tackle injured the CCRI goalkeeper Rob Gallucci (Coventry, RI). The Tribune player slid into a ball that had been covered by Gallucci, the player, did however receive a yellow card for his brutal tackle. Making matters worse the Knights’ back-up keeper is also out injured, so Coach Toro had to look for a replacement after Rob had to exit the game. The call was answered by defender Clarence Early (Cranston, RI). At the half the score was 5-0.
In the second half, Clarence Early made some amazing saves as he was thrown into a position that he had not played in a long time. Adam Corey also moved to the back line and together with Andrew Grenier (Greenville, RI) the defense made the necessary adjustments to stop the scoring completely in the second half. The coaching staff and players were extremely impressed with Early’s ability and the energy he brought to the team. In addition, Freddie Korsah was able to score a goal late in the game, utilizing this positive energy created by Early’s performance in the net. The final score of the game was 5-1 Monroe CC. After the game Tri-Captain keeper Rob Gallucci gave Clarence Early an embrace, as a sign of respect for his performance in a very tough position.
The Knights’ next game will be Tuesday September 24th at 3:30pm in Lincoln when they will host the Cougars of Holyoke Community College for a 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.