The University of Rhode Island women’s soccer team came up winless in their opening week of conference play following overtime battles versus Fordham University on Thursday and at Saint Louis University on Sunday afternoon.
The Rams (3-4-1, 0-1-1) start to Atlantic 10 competition did not go as they had hoped, as they found themselves locked in a tight match against the Fordham Rams (5-3-3, 0-0-2) at the URI Soccer Complex. URI broke what looked to be a scoreless half in the 40th minute after redshirt junior Donika Murray capitalized off a turnover and netted her first goal of the year. The goal gave Rhode Island and senior goalkeeper Kate Nickles, who was looking to earn her third straight shutout, a 1-0 lead going into the break.
Fordham did not waste time in changing the complexion of the match, striking with a goal of their own in the 58th minute. Brooke Salmon evened the score after connecting from the top of the box into the upper right corner of the goal. The score would remain deadlocked at one goal a piece for the duration of the match, as neither team could break the stalemate. Extra time was needed and then another after no goals were scored. The opposing defenses stayed strong and once again outlasted the clock, which was final bit of extra time allotted. Both Ram squads were forced to settle for a tie.
URI then traveled to Missouri to face a formidable Saint Louis team (8-2-1, 1-0-1) where they hoped to clinch a notable road win. They held their ground in the first half, fighting off a consistent offensive onslaught by the Billikens, which included 20 shots in the game, eight of which were on goal. The two teams went into halftime in a scoreless tie.
Saint Louis made their move quickly in the second half, getting on the board in the 50th minute courtesy of a Danielle Tolmais goal. URI answered back less than 10 minutes later after senior Nicole Brennan took it upon herself to get the Rams back in the match with an unassisted goal from deep inside the box. The clock ticked down to zero unchanged, forcing URI into another overtime.
It would not take nearly as long as the previous contest to decide an outcome, as Billikens’ hero Tolmais came through again, this time in the 95th minute for the game-winning score. The loss means that URI will have to wait at least until tomorrow to get their first A-10 win when they host Saint Joseph’s University at 7 p.m.
URI’s tennis team defeated rival Providence College 6-1 on the road on Sunday to open the season 2-0, which equals their win total from a bleak 2015-16 campaign.
Freshman Mihaela Codreanu represented the Rams in the Singles 1 slot and prevailed in straight sets, foreshadowing what would be a successful day all around for URI. Senior Taylor Holden (#2), freshman Tiara Higuchi (#4) and sophomore Ariel Haber (#5) also won in straight sets, while freshman Rachel Smilansky (#3) defeated PC’s Amanda Pitocco. Freshman Paige Alshon (#6) fell to Natalie Pitocco, 6-4, 6-3, in what was URI’s only singles loss of the afternoon.
The team also found success in doubles with the tandems of Holden and freshman Emily Zargham and Smilansky and classmate Nicole Legler both winning by a score of 6-4.
The influx of freshman, coupled with the veteran presence of the returnees, has made for a positive start to the Rams’ tennis season. They will host the URI Invitational this weekend, first taking on Siena and Monmouth on Saturday and then Army, and Providence and Bryant for the second time this year on Sunday.
The rowing club won third place in both the men’s double and the open eight at the Textile River Regatta on the Merrimack River in Lowell, Massachusetts.
The team faced ample competition with Wentworth Institute of Technology, University of Connecticut, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Massachusetts Lowell Riverside City College and Narragansett Boat Club all on a stacked card.
Dom Campione and John Da Silva raced their way to third in the double, while the open eight squad was comprised of rowers Grady Bolan, Ben Amundson, Carl Neff, James Malebranche, Lucas Woolhouse, Connor Dunn and Colin Moulton and was coxed by Rachel Purington.