Senior Co-Captains Ferreira and Schimmel Will Lead the Squad

By Leslie Crofton

The RIC women’s soccer team stands poised to embark on what should be its most successful campaign yet in the program’s seven-year history. Last year the Anchorwomen footballers qualified for the club’s first ever post-season berth in the Little East Conference (LEC) Tournament. Even more impressive, they accomplished this despite being plagued by three serious injuries during the team’s third game of the season against Salve Regina. The successful season came to an all too abrupt end when RIC was eliminated in the first round by a 3-0 loss to Plymouth State College. The team finished up 8-9 overall, going 3-4 in conference play to take 5th place in the LEC.

After this fleeting taste of long anticipated post-season play, veteran head coach Nicole Barber, assistant coach Hector Cardona and their squad are hungry to perform even better this year. "We fully expect to go to the LEC playoffs and our goals include defeating those we never have before [Western Connecticut, Southern Maine, Keene State]. My starting eleven will be a very strong team," says Barber.

The coaching staff will look to top returnees and senior co-captains Kerri Ferreira (Bristol) and Caitlin Schimmel (Cumberland) to help accomplish the high goals that the team has set for itself this season. Coach Barber expects the duo to lead the team both on and off the field, citing their being elected as captains after just one year on the squad (both women transferred into RIC last fall, Ferreira from the University of Hartford and Schimmel from the Community College of Rhode Island) as a true indicator of their immediate impact as team leaders.

Their potential for leadership will not overshadow their athletic prowess, however. The two forwards are expected to contribute a lot by the way of goals scored as well. Last season Ferreira was named Second Team ALL-LEC and was tied with graduated senior Jen Danielian (North Providence) for the team lead in goals. Schimmel followed close behind the two in scoring and led the squad in assists. Along with Danielian, the club’s most significant losses to graduation are Katie Hagan (Pascoag) who is second in career scoring at RIC and Jessica Robitaille (Greenville), the program’s all-time best goalkeeper, who started in all 56 games of her career.

Other top veterans include junior midfielder Allison Vales (Bristol) and sophomores Malissa Holden (Warwick) and Kim Wood (Little Compton) on defense. Barber describes Vales as "talented and in excellent physical condition" while toting Holden as "the anchor of the defense, a highly skilled player with a lot of confidence." Wood says, "I think we’re going to have a very strong season, we’re very talented offensively. We have nine returning players and great freshmen who should start." Barber agrees, naming top freshmen Sadie Bodet (Chepachet), Elena Sanborn (North Scituate), Alexis Bouchard (Warren) and goalkeeper Melissa Carpentier (Woonsocket) as rookies who will definitely be in the starting lineup.

The team is hoping to step things up early in its 2001 campaign during a trip to Pennsylvania, where they will have the opportunity to see how they stand against talented Oswego and Muhlenburg squads.


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