October 2, 2010



Smith Collects Team-Leading 11th Goal in Losing Effort

Providence, RI-The Rhode Island College women’s soccer team remained competitive for most of the first half, but gave way to Keene State’s offensive firepower in an 8-2 loss to the Owls in Little East Conference play at the RIC soccer field on Saturday afternoon.


The conference loss drops the Anchorwomen to 6-3 on the season and 1-2 in Little East play. Keene State improves to 8-2-2 overall and 2-1 in conference. After opening the season 5-0, the Anchorwomen have now dropped three of their last four.



 Junior forward Alexis Smith


Keene State began the match with a relentless offensive attack, which would not yield until the game was well in hand. The Rhode Island defense performed admirably for the opening 14 minutes, but began to falter in the 15th minute, when Keene’s advantage in team speed began to translate into goals. 


Junior midfielder Jessica Berthiaume (Worcester, MA) put up the first Owl marker at 14:17, assisted by senior forward Katie Bradford (Lebanon, NH) and junior defender Shannon Hennessey (Essex Junction, VT). Sophomore midfielder Erin Griffin (Londonderry, NH) followed seven minutes later off a touch feed from Bradford and freshman midfielder Kristen Huckins (Westmoreland, NH) tacked on a third goal in the 36th minute, again assisted by Bradford and Hennessey in tandem. 


In the final minute of the first half, the Owls scored a backbreaking tally. With the clock running inside of 30 seconds, KSC was awarded a corner kick from the left side. Sophomore forward Joan Hamel (Weare, NH) scurried over to the corner, abbreviated her approach, and quickly kicked the ball toward the front of the net. The ball skipped through a congested area, and conveniently placed itself at the right foot of junior defender Melissa Dempsey (East Weymouth, MA). Dempsey then easily scored to the right of the net with just 10 seconds remaining, giving the Owls a 4-0 lead at halftime.


Keene dominated the early part of the second half, scoring four more goals in just over 20 minutes before beginning to remove starters in favor of reserves. Hamel scored two goals of her own in the 50th and 61st minutes, and freshman midfielder Kara Pavlidis (Lee, NH) scored her second collegiate goal in the 66th minute to give the Owls an 8-0 edge.


The Anchorwomen salvaged the afternoon by scoring a pair of goals late in the contest. In the 73rd minute, junior forward Alexis Smith (Wakefield, RI) scored her team-leading 11th goal of the season on a marker assisted by junior forward Ashley Choiniere (Hope, RI). Seven minutes later, freshman midfielder Jessica Graham (Wakefield, RI) found the back of the net after a quality pass from Smith put her in position to score.


The goals for Smith and Graham both came against former high school teammate, KSU junior goalkeeper Lea Swanson (Wakefield, RI), who played the last 28 minutes in relief of classmate starter Megan Dempsey (East Weymouth, MA). Swanson made one save, while Dempsey turned away all three shots she faced over 62 minutes of shutout play. For the Anchorwomen, senior goalkeeper Maddie Pirri (Bristol, RI) made 11 saves, before yielding to freshman Abygayle Fisher (Exeter, NH), who saved the only shot which came her way.


In upcoming action, the Anchorwomen travel to Connecticut College for a non-conference match on Wednesday afternoon at 4:30 p.m.