The University of Rhode Island men’s soccer team extended their winning streak to two after a 3-1 victory over Sacred Heart at the Kingston Soccer Complex last night.
The win now gives Rhode Island three so far as they improve to 3-3-1 while Sacred Heart drops to 0-5-1.
The Rams came out strong to start the second half as they fired eight shots at Sacred Heart junior goalie Tucker Hackett early on, resulting in a quick two goals and ultimately sealing the win.
“We just played our game after we came out of the gates a little slowly,” sophomore defenseman Wesley Matthews said. “Our shots were definitely effective.”
The first goal of the game belonged to the Pioneers as they connected on a shot by freshman forward Ermir Celaj after a header pass from freshman midfielder Dylan Santos in the seventh minute. Â Play was physical throughout the half as junior midfielder Rainer Randell picked up a yellow card.
Rhode Island picked up some momentum just before the intermission when sophomore defenseman Wesley Matthews booted a shot into the bottom left corner, knotting the score 1-1.
“The second half was a lot better than the first,” Rhode Island head coach Gareth Elliott said. “The first half was poor and we were lucky to tie the game at the end of the half.”
The second half saw the Rams start faster as they dominated ball control and continued with the physical play. Â The passes were sharp and they enable Rhode Island to strike quickly, when Carlo Davids scored on a shot from 20 yards out.
After the Rams took a 2-1 lead the Pioneers played a more disorganized game, resulting in more arguments on the field and less teamwork. Â Rhode Island took advantage of it as, 10 minutes after their previous score, they padded their lead on a booming goal from 25 yards out off the foot of Randell.
“We fought harder, played with a little more passion and really just played with a little more quality in the second half,” Elliott said.
The third goal stifled Sacred Heart as their play became rushed, allowing the Rams to hold control of the ball in the Pioneers end. Â The result for the Pioneers was just two shots in the second half, neither of which were registered on goal.
“The defense was great,” Randell said. “The first goal was devastating, but we bounced back and kept our heads up.”
The Rams will look to continue their winning ways when they next play at home against Stony Brook on Saturday evening, followed by a visit to Bryant on Wednesday.