September 21, 2010


CHOINIERE’S EARLY GOALS POWER RIC PAST BSU Three First Half Goals Give Anchorwomen First 5-0 Start Since 1999

Providence, RI-For the first time in 11 years, the Rhode Island College women’s soccer team is 5-0, thanks to a 3-1 victory over non-conference opponent Bridgewater State at the RIC Soccer Field Tuesday night.



 Junior forward Ashley Choiniere


Junior forward Ashley Choiniere (Hope, RI) led the way with two goals in the first 10 minutes, giving the Anchorwomen an advantage they were able to ride for the remainder of the match. With just 2:13 elapsed in the contest, Choiniere chased down a contested ball deep downfield near the sideline. Although the junior appeared to simply send the ball back toward the middle of the field, her kick kept bounding past both junior forward Alexis Smith (Wakefield, RI) and Bridgewater senior goalkeeper Kayla Grover (Haverhill, MA) and into the net inside the left post. 


Minutes later, Choiniere doubled the Rhode Island lead. Smith led the offensive push, but ran out of room and was fast approaching the end line off to the right of the goal. Smith stopped a few feet shy of the boundary, planted, and sent back a precisely on-target pass to Choiniere, who scored easily from right in front of the goal with 35 minutes remaining. 


As the first half waned, the Bears wrested control of the game’s pace and field position. After several threats, Bridgewater got on the board in the game’s 34th minute. With the ball entering the box from the right, the Rhode Island defense got trapped in front of the net and was unable to eject the loose ball from the area. After the ball was boxed around several times by both teams, sophomore forward Molly Copeland (North Falmouth, MA) redirected a loose ball into the net from short range to cut the deficit in half.


In subsequent minutes, Bridgewater appeared to be taking control of the match.  However, on a play strangely similar to Rhode Island’s first goal in Saturday’s match versus UMass Dartmouth, the Anchorwomen padded their lead before the half thanks to a fortunate bounce. From out of bounds, Choiniere sent in her trademark flip throw directly on goal. For the second time in as many games, the toss struck the keeper in both hands, but bounced out directly to a teammate waiting on an easy goal.  This time, it was Smith who tallied the marker in the 44th minute to give the Anchorwomen a 3-1 lead going into halftime. 



 Junior forward Alexis Smith


“They’re starting to write the chapters to a Cinderella story right now,” said Rhode Island College Head Coach Mike Koperda. “We’ve invested in young players and given those young players an opportunity. It’s about them. They’re putting in hard work, and they’re seeing the results of that hard work.”


Smith’s goal marked her team-high seventh on the season. Paired with her third assist, Smith raised her team-leading point total to 17. Choiniere is now second on the team in goals and points with four and 15, respectively. The Hope native’s seven assists are good for most on the team. 


In the second half, the Anchorwomen held on while the Bears fired eleven shots and forced senior goalkeeper Maddie Pirri (Bristol, RI) to make five second half saves (seven total) in order to preserve the two-goal lead. The Bears outshot the Anchorwomen by an 11-3 margin in the second half and outpaced them 21-10 for the evening. The visitors squandered numerous scoring opportunities, including seven, second-half corner kicks. 


With the victory, the Anchorwomen have now already equaled their win total from the 2008 and 2009 seasons combined. On Saturday, they will have the opportunity to match the best start in program history, a 6-0 start under charter head coach Nicole Barber in 1999. 


In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will travel to Western Connecticut on Saturday at 6 p.m. to play the Colonials in a conference match in Danbury. The Bears return home to take on Fitchburg State in conference action Saturday at 11 a.m.