The University of Rhode Island women’s soccer team lost a close game to St. Bonaventure University 2-1 at their Senior Day game at the URI Soccer Complex in Kingston on Sunday.
The defeat marks the Rams’ third loss of the season and second to Atlantic 10 competition. Despite being in possession of the best overall record in its conference (11-3-2), Rhode Island currently sits at fourth place in the standings because of a 3-2-1 record against conference competition.
“We let one get away,” Rhode Island head coach Michael Needham said. “We went up 1-0 and thought it was going to be easy playing against a team that’s fighting for their life, and you can’t do that. That wasn’t professional enough for me, but that’s about all I have to say about it.”
The Rams hopped on the scoreboard first against St. Bonaventure when senior Dariann Sellitti scored her first goal of the season on a rebound off Samantha Leyh’s miss just 7:58 into the contest.
The Bonnies would answer back with a goal of their own on Danielle Vis’ fourth goal of the season just more than 10 minutes later to knot the score at one apiece.
“It felt really good [to score],” Sellitti said. “We didn’t exactly play our game the way that we should and I think that was a reason why they appeared to be stronger. We weren’t connecting as well as we usually do, so I think that had something to do with it.”
In the second half, the Rams could not keep up with the Bonnies. Just two days earlier, the club had beaten Duquesne 1-0 in double overtime thanks to a goal from senior Chelsea Gates assisted by sophomore Nicole Brennan in the 109th minute. Coach Needham said that he felt the team lost due to mistakes and missed opportunities, though, rather than fatigue from their last game.
“We made three chances to score and didn’t do it, they made one chance to score and they did,” he said. “We didn’t do at all what we were trying to.”
St. Bonaventure shifted the advantage in its favor after an Abby Maiello-assisted goal from Lauren Hill at the 61:25. A bicycle kick that just missed the left side of the net almost tied things back up for the Rams, but the Bonnies were able to hold URI off by controlling the ball for a majority of the remaining time.
After the loss, both Coach Needham and Sellitti said that they are still confident in the team and expect the squad to continue its winning ways.
“It’s been an awesome season,” Needham said. “I’m looking forward to putting this game behind us and taking care of Davidson on Friday night.”
The Rams will finish out the season on the road against Davidson on Friday and Richmond on Sunday before the Atlantic 10 Championships begin on Nov. 6.