The Community College of Rhode Island women’s soccer team has had its ups and downs over the past few seasons.
Between coaching changes and low numbers, the Lady Knights needed leaders this past fall more than ever and would get one in Cranston native Gabby Caruso, who was recently named the CCRI women’s soccer co-MVP.
Caruso, a sophomore, was named co-captain of the CCRI team in her second year, and quickly became one of the top all-around players in the conference.
Caruso, along with co-captain and co-MVP Isabella Rinne (Charlestown), helped new coach Jim McGirr settle in to his first season at the helm, while also keeping their teammates’ spirits up when the going got rough.
“Last year was a tough season because we had low numbers. We had a different coach last season and our new coach Jim McGirr came in late during the recruitment process so he wasn’t able to recruit many girls,” said Caruso. “Izzy and I tried to keep the girls motivated, we would give girls rides to practice to make sure we could continue to get better and prepare for the games. With low numbers you don’t always get the outcome that you want so it’s easy to get bummed out so we made sure that the girls stuck with it.”
Caruso also felt a greater sense of motivation knowing that the other girls on the team were looking up to her. This helped her complete one of her most successful seasons on the field.
“It drove me a lot because we needed a figure to motivate the rest of the girls. That’s what me and Izzy did, we led by example,” said Caruso. “It was us trying, not giving up, coming to every practice and doing everything we can to make sure we were locked in even when things were hard. We both worked really hard, we needed a leader so we both tried really hard to play that role.”
Caruso also was proud of the way she handled her minutes considering they were as high has ever this past season due to the shortage in players.
“I think (my performance) in both years was pretty equal. With such low numbers it can get tiring playing the full 90 minutes,” said Caruso. “I didn’t mind it but sometimes it was tough picking up the slack in different areas … I coped with it and did the best I could.”