The CCRI Knights men’s soccer team hosted the Bunker Hill Community College Bulldogs on Monday evening. The Knights held a one goal lead at halftime but the Bulldogs scored three second half goals to win the game 3-1. The loss drops CCRI’s season record to 2-9-1 overall and 1-4-1 in Region XXI play.
The Knights came out hungry to get back to winning ways in this regional test. Trying to balance offense and defense has been difficult for the Knights this year and some progress on this front would help turn the tide of the season. Freshman Paul Sayles-Perez (Westerly) dropped from offense to defense today and he held strong all game. Freshman Ednilson Tavares (Pawtucket) jumped in goal for the Knights and also had a solid game.
The Knights were encouraged by head coach Gabe Toro to attack the flanks so they could get end behind the Bunker Hill defense. Freshman Osiel Moreno (Providence) was played into the right flank and was able to cross in a ball with his first touch which found the defense on its heels. Sophomore Cornelius Tay (Monrovia, Liberia) was able to take advantage of this and ran in for a header into the back of the net. The Knights held the 1-0 lead into the half and were feeling good.
Some changes in the midfield improved possession and defensively the Knights were doing a good job of keeping Bunker Hill under control. Sophomores Anthony Serluca (Westerly), Jacob Leander (West Warwick) and Delpio Alves (East Providence) played in the center of midfield today and played a complete game. Sophomore Koren Barrios (Pawtucket) and freshmen Lucas Patrone (Johnston) came into the back four as substitutes to keep the intensity of the back line up.
The massive gusts of wind had proved difficult to deal with in the first half. CCRI were now playing into the wind and would have to deal with the adverse conditions coming straight at them. Bunker Hill took advantage and were able to draw level with CCRI in the 65th minute off the unassisted goal from Gabriel Pihno as he struck from over 30 yards out. The Bulldogs’ contact was perfect and the ball curled into the far post through traffic and just beyond Ednilson Tavares' fingertips.
Momentum changed hands at this point and Bunker Hill took the lead in the 73rd minute as Akil Frank scored. The lead was doubled in the 81st minute as Frank struck again, this time assisted by Arnold Orellena.
Coach Toro said “It was a tough loss because we played well for 65 minutes, but the game is a 90-minute game.” CCRI struggled to get back into the game and the Bulldogs held on to win the game 3-1.
The CCRI Knights men’s soccer team will next be in action on Saturday, October 12th at 11:00 a.m. as they travel to Springfield, MA to take on the AIC Yellowjackets.