October 23, 2010


Anchorwomen Jump from Seventh to Fifth Place with, 2-1, Win

Providence, RI-For the third time in as many home games, the Rhode Island College women’s soccer team squandered a second half lead, only to recover late and win a nailbiter by a single goal. The Anchorwomen both allowed and scored a goal in the final 11 minutes of regulation and claimed a 2-1 victory over the University of Southern Maine Huskies in a pivotal Little East Conference match held at the RIC Soccer Field on Saturday afternoon. 



 Freshman midfielder Jessica Graham


With the win, the Anchorwomen (9-6, 2-4 Little East Conference) climb into a three-way tie with Southern Maine (4-13, 2-4) and Plymouth State (7-9, 2-4) for fifth place in the Little East Conference. All three teams stand just three points behind UMass Boston (10-4-3, 3-3) for fourth place. The Anchorwomen, who host UMass Boston next Saturday in their regular season finale, remain in contention to earn the Little East Championship Tournament’s fourth seed and home field advantage in first round play.  


After the Huskies scored the game-tying goal in the 80th minute, the Anchorwomen began scrambling for opportunities to score a go-ahead goal. As they have done multiple times already this season, they scored the winner off of a set piece. In the 82nd minute, junior forward Ashley Choiniere (Hope, RI) ran to the sideline for a throw-in parallel with the box. Choiniere performed her signature flip throw and delivered the tumble toss out to freshman midfielder Jessica Graham (Wakefield, RI), who was even with the right post. Graham headed the pass in a straight line and the shot tucked just inside both the crossbar and the right post to lift the Anchorwomen to the, 2-1, margin of victory.



 Junior forward Ashley Choiniers


The urgent need for a second goal came after the Huskies tied the match only 2:09 prior to Graham’s game-winner. USM pressured the Rhode Island College defense for most of the afternoon and their persistence finally yielded a goal in the 80th minute. Holding the ball just past midfield, sophomore midfielder Jess Gassman (Kennebunk, ME) served up a long pass to the box, which isolated four players from the rest of the field: senior goalkeeper Maddie Pirri (Bristol, RI) and junior defender Jenna Childs (Cranston, RI) for RIC, and senior midfielder Chelsea Norton (Westbrook, ME) and sophomore forward Cathy Wise (Cape Elizabeth, ME) for Southern Maine. 


Norton took the pass to the right of Childs and Pirri, who were in single file. Pirri then gambled and ran directly at Norton in an attempt to take away Norton’s shooting angle and prevent a pass to the flanking Wise. At the last second, Norton popped a pass just beyond Pirri’s right hand, creating a footrace between Wise and Childs toward the empty net. The two opponents simultaneously lunged at the ball, which struck Wise’s body and bounced home to tie the match. Norton and Gassman both earned assists on the wild play.


Wise’s goal ended a scoreless stretch, which lasted over 77 minutes. The first tally of the contest came with just 1:42 elapsed. Coming off a left-side corner kick by junior forward Alexis Smith (Wakefield, RI), Choiniere waited for the ball to fly past the crowd and then one-timed the ball out of the air with her left foot to score on a cross to the left side of the goal. Choiniere’s three total points and Smith’s helper draw the two even at a program-record 38 points for the season.


The Anchorwomen won despite being outshot, 22-16. Pirri (8-5) had seven saves in the victory, while junior goalkeeper Kat Rothe (Leeds, ME) stopped eight shots and fell to 4-11 in net for the Huskies. 


Saturday’s match continued the Anchorwomen’s success at home, where they are 6-2 this season. By contrast, the Anchorwomen are 3-4 on the road, including losses in their last three away games.    


In upcoming action, the Anchorwomen travel to Lasell to take on the Lasers in a non-conference match on Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. in Newton, MA.