October 30, 2010


Anchorwomen End Season in, 2-0, Loss on Senior Day

Providence, RI-The Anchorwomen competed well, but were outmatched by the UMass Boston Beacons in a 2-0 loss in the regular season finale on Senior Day at the RIC Soccer Field on Saturday afternoon. The loss eliminates the Anchorwomen from postseason contention and ends the 2010 season.


Both teams entered the match with much to gain, with both standing to earn home field advantage in the first round of the Little East Tournament with a win. The Anchorwomen needed a victory or tie in order to qualify. As a result, the match was played with a distinct postseason intensity from the outset. The game’s opening 10 minutes were a scuffle for field position and control, with the only shot coming on a Beacon free kick.  


In the 11th minute, a defensive breakdown by the Anchorwomen led to the match’s first goal. Taking the ball well behind midfield, junior defender Samantha Place (Newton, NJ) sent up a soaring kick, which landed ahead of all her teammates and opponents, bouncing into the box toward the RIC goal. The first two players to the ball were RIC defenders, but neither touched the ball, which allowed junior forward Kristin Mulry (Holbrook, MA) to sneak up from behind and take the ball directly at RIC senior goalkeeper Maddie Pirri (Bristol, RI). With Pirri forced to guard the right post, which was directly in front of the attacker, Mulry stopped and slipped a cross just inside the left post, which Pirri could not defend. The Beacons carried the, 1-0, lead into halftime.



 Maddie Pirri and her parents prior to the stat of the game.


Mulry and Place teamed up again in the 86th minute to put the game away. The goal was astonishingly similar to the first. Mulry once again took a long feed from Place, then got past two defenders to beat Pirri on a cross from the right.   


Outside of the two goals, the Anchorwomen competed valiantly in an effort to prolong their season. RIC held its own, as they were outshot by only a 14-12 margin. The Anchorwomen earned four corner kicks and also benefitted from 13 Beacon fouls, which frequently turned into favorable field position.


UMass Boston Head Coach Amy Zombeck employed a defensive strategy which prevented RIC offensive stalwarts Alexis Smith (Wakefield, RI) and Ashley Choiniere (Hope, RI) from producing goals. Choiniere saw double teams at all times, and routinely found herself surrounded by three to five opponents whenever she possessed the ball in the attacking half. Smith was handled mostly by way of suffocating one-on-one defense provided by Place, who turned in a spectacular defensive effort from start to finish.  Smith and Choiniere mustered only five shots between them, none of which were strong threats. 



 Alicia Lardaro and her parents prior to the game.


UMB freshman goalkeeper Katie Coscia (Pittsfield, MA) made five saves to earn the win and pick up her seventh shutout.


Saturday’s loss brings a harsh finish to an otherwise prosperous and enjoyable season for the Anchorwomen. RIC finishes the year with a winning overall record of 9-7-1 and a 2-5 record in Little East play. 2010 marks the first winning season in three years, and the largest year-to-year improvement in program history. The Anchorwomen tripled their win total from their 3-12 mark in 2009, and improved upon a winless season in conference a year ago. Although missing the tournament, the Anchorwomen move up three places in the conference standings from a year ago, finishing the season tied for fifth place in the Little East (RIC misses the postseason by virtue of a three-way tiebreaker: goals allowed versus conference opponents.).


The 2010 season saw three new records set by RIC players. Pirri finishes her career with a program-record 569 saves, with the final five coming Saturday. Smith set new standards for goals in a season with 17 and points in a season with 44. Choiniere’s 14 assists are also a program best. 


RIC honored Pirri and fellow senior Alicia Lardaro (Peace Dale, RI) for their years of service to the women’s soccer program. The student-athletes and their families were introduced together during pregame ceremonies and presented with parting gifts. Both were four-year varsity players at Rhode Island College.