September 14, 2010


5-3 Win Over Salve Regina Gets RIC Off to Best Start in Five Years

Newport, RI-Freshman Amanda Nanni (Harrisville, RI) scored a pair of goals to lead Rhode Island College to a 5-3 win over Salve Regina University in non-conference women’s soccer action Wednesday afternoon at Reynolds Field.



 Freshman midfielder Amanda Nanni


Juniors Alexis Smith (Wakefield, RI) and Ashley Choiniere (Hope, RI) added a goal and an assist each for the Anchorwomen, who improved to 3-0 on the season and 11-4-1 lifetime against the Seahawks (2-4). The three wins equal the program's entire 2009 effort as RIC is off to its best start in five years.


Rhode Island College scored three first-half goals and two in the opening 14:26 of the second half to build a commanding, 5-0, lead. Smith opened the scoring at 11:41 when she redirected a cross from Choiniere into the back of the net for her team-leading sixth tally of the season. Choiniere pushed the lead to 2-0 when she knocked home a corner kick off the foot of sophomore midfielder Libby Lazar (Wakefield, RI) at 14:23, and freshman midfielder Mariah Gonzalez (Harrisville, RI) netted her first collegiate goal on a breakaway at 36:44 to make it 3-0. The Seahawks outshot the Anchorwomen, 19-8, in the first half but were unable to put one past senior goalkeeper Maddie Pirri (Bristol, RI), who recorded nine saves in the first stanza.


The Anchorwomen continued to attack the Seahawks in the second half and were rewarded with a pair of goals by Nanni. For her first goal, she took a pass from Smith, broke in alone on Seahawk freshman goalkeeper Jacqueline McPherson (Mansfield, MA), and chipped the ball into the net at 50:15. Less than 10 minutes later, Nanni fired a shot into the far right side of the net to close the RIC scoring.


 The Seahawks began their comeback at 61:25 when sophomore and leading-scorer Kaitlyn Birrell (Hope, RI) got the home team on the board with her sixth of the season. She cruised past the defense and fired a shot over Pirri. Freshman Erin McCullough (Ludlow, MA) tallied her first-career goal at 67:50 when she made a cutback and scored past Pirri, and sophomore Liz Galla’s (Beacon Falls, CT) third of the year at 76:43 cut the SRU deficit to 5-3. They finished the afternoon outshooting the Anchorwomen 30-13, but could not get closer than two goals.


 Pirri notched 13 saves to improve to 3-0 on the season while McPherson finished with three saves in defeat. The Seahawks held a 9-3 edge in corner kicks.


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will open Little East Conference play at home against UMass Dartmouth on Saturday, Sept. 18.