October 19, 2010


Choiniere, Smith Re-write RIC Record Book in, 3-2, Win Over Westfield

Providence, RI-A lot of things went into the net with junior forward Alexis Smith’s (Wakefield, RI) shot in the 109th minute: a game-winning goal, a record-setting goal, two record-setting points, and an eighth win for a team on a quest to crack double digits. The Rhode Island College women’s soccer team pulled out a, 3-2, double overtime victory over Westfield State University in a non-conference match at the RIC Soccer Field on Tuesday afternoon. 



 Junior forward Alexis Smith


With the match just 79 seconds away from ending in a disappointing draw, sophomore midfielder Libby Lazar (Wakefield, RI) took a bounding ball behind the midfield line and kicked it as far as she could up the right side in the direction of junior forward Ashley Choiniere (Hope, RI).  Choiniere outlegged a defender to reach the ball, and had a free sprint to the goal, but did not have enough room before the endline to shift direction. Fortunately for Choiniere, she had Smith trailing her on the other side of the net. Choiniere put out a crossing pass, but was running too fast to deliver it directly.  Smith broke into a full sprint in pursuit of the bounding ball, and got the winning touch at the end of a baseball slide, which pushed across the golden goal.


The game-winner simultaneously set three program records. With the goal, Smith set the all-time program single season record for goals at 14, surpassing the 13 achieved twice prior (Katie Hagan, 1998; Joan Hencler, 1999). The goal also gave Smith 37 points, which surpassed Hencler’s record 35 from the 1999 season. Choiniere’s assist was her 11th of the season, snapping another record (10) also set by Hencler in 1999. 



 Junior forward Ashley Choiniere


Before the dramatic finish, the match appeared to be a squandered opportunity.  The Anchorwomen entered the final 12 minutes of regulation holding a 2-0 lead before allowing Westfield sophomore forward Kayley Miller (Ludlow, MA) to halve the deficit on a goal off a corner kick from senior midfielder Kate MacLellan (Wilbraham, MA) with 11:41 remaining. With just 1:03 left, a handball in the box by a RIC defender set up a penalty kick for MacLellan, which she promptly converted to send the match into overtime. 


The match’s dramatic and historic conclusion overshadowed a remarkable effort by RIC senior goalkeeper Maddie Pirri (Bristol, RI), which made the finale possible. Pirri stood in against 34 shots, saving 17 of the 19 on net. Pirri’s effort allowed the Anchorwomen to claim victory despite the fact that they were outshot by an even three-to-one ratio in regulation and 34-14 in the final ledger. 


Before Choiniere’s record-setting assist, she scored the first two goals of the match for the Anchorwomen, with both coming off of set pieces. In the first half, Choiniere converted a corner kick sent in by Smith through Lazar and senior defender Alicia Lardaro (Peace Dale, RI) to give the Anchorwomen the lead in the 15th minute. In the 61st minute, Choiniere rocketed home a long goal off a throw-in from far up the left sideline by freshman midfielder Jessica Graham (Wakefield, RI), a tally that prompted Westfield to change keepers. 


The victory for Rhode Island College (8-6, 1-4 Little East Conference) continues its season-long winning record. In defeat, the Owls (5-8-2, 3-1-1 MASCAC) saw an end to a six-match unbeaten streak, which stretched back to Sept. 25. 


In upcoming action, the Anchorwomen play host to Southern Maine in a pivotal Little East Conference matchup on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. at the RIC Soccer Field.