Warwick, R.I. – September 5, 2017: The CCRI Knights soccer team traveled to New Rochelle, New York over the weekend to take on the No. 2 ranked (NJCAA DI Poll) Mustangs of Monroe College. The national championship runner-up from 2016, Monroe is a known powerhouse in NJCAA soccer, and they showed it on Saturday. The Knights lost 10-1 in regulation, moving their season record to 0-1-0.
Despite the defensive formation and game plan by Head Coach Gabe Toro, the Mustangs scored early and often. Starting with a defensive mistake, the Mustangs were able to capitalize and score one minute into the game. The Knights continued to work and show defensive resolve and work hard throughout the game. The Mustangs were able to score eight goals in the first half, taking advantage of the inexperienced Knights.
The Knights did have many positives to take from the game. In the 27th minute, Mouhamadou Diouf (Dakar, Senegal) was able to find space and combine passes to pick out Jason Lopes De Pina (Central Falls, RI) for finish and score the only Knights goal. Lopes De Pina converted one of his two shots in the game. Alexis Beltran (Warwick, RI) was able to add another shot on goal for the Knights. The Knights also had a much better defensive showing in the second half. After allowing eight goals in the first half, the Knights made adjustments in the second half, and with new assignments the team was able to hold Monroe to two goals. Goalkeeper Jordan Duarte Lopez (Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain) was tested regularly in the match, and did his best to keep the Knights in contention by coming up with some difficult saves. Lopez made five saves on the day, keeping the score low. The defense was also tested, and did their best to make stops time after time from the relentless Monroe attack. The experience the Knights earned in this game will be vital going forward, and will help them to solidify the defense and gain confidence going forward.
Even with the loss, Coach Toro found positives to take from the game. Knowing the toughness of the opponent, coach was happy to get his young team experience from the top level, and to help them grow and mature as a team. He saw “many positive moments the team can build on leading into our next game.”
The Knights’ next game is on Thursday for the home opener. The Knights will take on the Bulldogs of Bunker Hill at 4PM on Thursday, September 7th. The home opener will double as the Region XXI opener for the Knights, who look to get their first win in their overall and region record.
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The Community College of Rhode Island, New England’s largest comprehensive community college, enrolls nearly 16,000 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.