Womenís volleyball and RIC teams shine on Homecoming

Homecoming 2002 was a good day for RICís varsity sports teams. On Oct. 5, the womenís soccer team defeated UMass-Boston 5-0, the womenís tennis squad blanked UMass-Boston 9-0, the menís soccer team won at UMB 2-1 and Misha Knuettel of the menís cross country team placed first at the Tri-State Championships.

Homecoming 2002 was especially sweet for Head Coach Craig Letourneauís womenís volleyball team who went undefeated and won the annual RIC Invitational for the third time in the last four years.

The Anchorwomen played two matches on Friday, Oct. 4, defeating Newbury 3-0 and Anna Maria 3-1. That gave RIC a berth in the championship match on Saturday. Coach Letourneauís troops responded to the challenge, defeating Framingham State 3-1 to take home the title.

Three RIC players were named to the All-Tournament Team, one of which was named Tournament MVP.

Junior setter Jillian Krebs was named the MVP, playing in all 11 games in the three matches. Krebs had 16 kills, 59 assists and 28 digs to help lead RIC to victory.

Senior captain and outside hitter Stephanie Callaghan was an All-Tourney selection, playing in 11 games in three matches. She had 25 kills, 22 digs and four service aces in the three wins.

Sophomore outside hitter Amanda Yanski also played in 11 games in the three matches. Yanski, who is considered to be the teamís top hitter, totaled a team-high 34 kills with six service aces, five digs and three blocks during the tournament.

More importantly, the wins evened RICís record at 9-9 overall. The Anchorwomen stand at 2-2 in the Little East Conference with several key matches left to play. The LEC womenís volleyball tournament begins on Nov. 6.

 

Menís soccer continues record-breaking season

Head Coach Len Mercurioís menís soccer program is finally reaping the benefits of years of hard work. Over the past few seasons, RIC was stymied by a myriad of one-goal losses that always seem to come at the wrong time.

Last season, with RIC hosting a home Little East Conference playoff game, the Anchormen battled Western Connecticut to a 0-0 tie through regulation and four overtime periods. Unfortunately, RIC came out on the short end during penalty kicks, ending its season prematurely.

Fast forward one year, and after an influx of fresh new talent, the tables have turned for RIC. The Anchormen currently sit at 9-3 overall and are 2-0, good for first place, in the Little East Conference.

After dropping the first two games of the season at the Mid-Hudson Classic to New Paltz (3-2) and Vassar (3-2), RIC went on a school record eight-game winning streak. The squad notched four shutouts and outscored the opposition 27-5 during that stretch. More importantly, RIC picked up victories over in-state rivals Johnson and Wales (2-1) and Salve Regina (2-1), both of which were in overtime, the teamís Achilles heal over the past few seasons.

A lot of the change has to do with the squadís new-look line-up. Of the 11 starters, only three are returnees: defenseman Paul Sousa, sweeper Brian Schimmel and stopper Josh Nelson. Sophomore goalkeeper Jason Nelson has four shutouts, 56 saves and a 1.06 goals against average in his first year as a starter.

One has to look no farther than freshmen forwards Kyle Teixeira and Cory Lopes when it comes to offensive output. Teixeira, a high school All-American from Mt. Hope High School, has struck fear into opposing defenses with 13 goals and four assists for 27 points in 11 games. He has twice been named the Little Eastís Player of the Week and has earned Rookie of the Week honors once. Teixeira has proved he can handle the pressure when the game is on the line with five game-winning goals to his credit.

Lopes has also found the net with regularity this season with nine goals and one assist for 19 points in 12 games. Like Teixeira, Lopes has handled the pressure late in games with three game-winning goals.

The tandem currently stands at one and two, respectively, in the LEC in scoring. Sophomore midfielder Tim Calouro, a transfer from St. Josephís (ME) is third on RIC in scoring with three goals and two assists for eight points.

In addition, freshmen midfielders Matt Borges and Josh Braga, coupled with CCRI junior transfer Jorge Pemberthy have been instrumental to the teamís success. Freshmen defenders Tim Poblocki, Jeff Monica and Ryan Murphy, sophomore stopper Alain Edouard and freshmen midfielders Dan Toro and Chris Cunha have bolstered the teamís total game. Rookie forward Chris Childs and midfielder Joe Mackinnon have added support to the offense.

The squadís veterans, junior midfielder Johan Calderon and sophomore midfielders Mike Maciel and German Cardona have remained consummate team players, even though theyíve seen their playing time diminish.

With still five conference games remaining, the Anchormen remain focused on their one goal: a Little East Conference Championship. A huge showdown with perennial powerhouse Keene State on Oct. 19 will likely determine the top spots in the conference.

One thing to watch will be the teamís win total. With nine wins and seven games left to play, not including potential playoff games, RIC has a legitimate shot to break the all-time school record of 13 wins in a single season set by the 1973 squad.

No matter what the rest of this season holds in store for RIC, the Anchormen have a solid base from which to grow.


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