The Rhode Island College women’s soccer team had to be prepared for an all or nothing match-up that would determine if they would compete in the Little Eastern Conference Tournament beginning in November. This past week would begin with a visit to Westfield State University on Tuesday, Oct.18 where the Anchorwomen had one more practice run before facing-off against LEC rival Plymouth State on Saturday, Oct. 22 in a game that would determine their fate. With the pressure mounted for the Anchorwomen because of a losing season overall record of 2-12, the team would need to place forth a bold effort to defeat their foes and take a shot at the championship.
On Tuesday, Oct. 18, the Anchorwomen had a game on the road against non-conference rival the Westfield State Owls. The Owls wasted little time getting on the scoreboard when junior forward Brittanie McGregor registered a hat trick with her two goals coming in the first half with the help of classmate Kayley Miller assisting on each and also notching a goal and another assist in the latter half of the first. Taking advantage of a depleted and tired defense for RIC, the offensive prowess would strike again in the second half when Leann Rivard scored and Megan Lussier knock home two goals for the Owls to gain a win by a final score of 7-0. Westfield State had as many as seven players notching at least one point. The shining light for RIC would come from sophomore goalkeeper Abygayle Fisher who made 12 saves for her fifth double digit save performance of the season. The overall shot advantage was tough to take for the Anchorwomen who had two shots compared to the Owls 44 (44-2) in the 7-0 shutout loss.
The Anchorwomen would return home on Saturday, Oct. 22 for a matinee against their LEC conference rivals the Plymouth State University Panthers. It was Senior Day for RIC and the lone senior and team captain on the team Jenna Childs would be honored in small pre-game ceremony. Then Childs along with the rest of the Anchorwomen would need to focus their attention to the elimination game as it would determine if they would earn a spot in the LEC quarter-finals. The Anchorwomen scored early on in the first half to take a 1-0 lead when sophomore midfielder Stephanie Choiniere made a slick pass to freshman teammate Danielle Peloquin who split the defense and ripped her shot past the Panthers senior goalkeeper Angelina LaBroad for her fourth goal of the season. The goal also marked the first time since Sept. 3 that RIC would hold the lead. The Anchorwomen, building off the momentum, would take a 2-0 advantage in the 20th minute of play when midfielder Jenna Childs made a skillful pass near the inside box to sophomore forward Lauren Maisano who would cross a defender to keep possession and blasted a hefty shot that would trickle into the top left corner of the net for the goal. The goal would be the sixth of the season for Maisano who also leads the team in goals this season.
Unfortunately, the energy and the liveliness for the Anchorwomen would come to a sudden and rough end when the Panthers notched a responsive goal as senior defender Katie Lozano fed a sideline past to teammate Sammi Jo Saltalamacchia just outside the box. The senior forward managed to drive the net and while along the goal line, slid the ball to Sam Laliberte who was left uncovered by the opposing defense and popped in the loose ball over the head of freshman net minder Audrey Maia. Laliberte was not finished when she scored the insurance goal late in the second after her team took a 4-2 lead in the second half. Maia made a career high 12 saves for the Anchorwomen who suffered their 14th consecutive loss at the hands of the Plymouth State Panthers by a final score of 5-2.
The loss to the Panthers would eliminate the Anchorwomen from the Little East playoff contention. In the final week of the season for the Anchorwomen, they will face Lasell College Wednesday, Oct. 26 for their last home game and they end their season on the road with the hopes of having one last taste at victory when they head up north to face the University of Southern Maine on Saturday, Oct. 29.