The URI Women’s Soccer Team fell to the Providence Friars with a final score of 0-2 last weekend. Photo from GoRhody.com.

Even though The University of Rhode Island Women’s Soccer team began its 2020-2021 campaign on Sunday with a loss to in-state rival Providence College, Head Coach Megan Jessee is optimistic about the team’s outlook for the season.

The Rams came out of the gates hot in their season opener at PC. Strong attacking play from sophomores Brooke Cavino and Kelly Fitzgerald and junior Rebecca D’Anna played a major part in the Rams first-half dominance, where the team had five corner kicks but couldn’t convert. 

As well, stellar defense from Fitzgerald and solid goalkeeping from sophomore Teresa Morrissey held Providence to just three shots on goal and a shutout at the half. The Rams finished the period with three shots on goal, and an effort that ricocheted off the crossbar from Cavino. However, the Rams went into the break with no goals to show for their hard work, going to the locker room still tied. 

The Friars were able to pounce on the opportunity to take the lead in the second half, scoring just twelve minutes in. The Rams fought hard to tie the game back up, even pushing their defenders forward in the late stages of the second half, but to no avail. The Friars took advantage of the open defense and put one more shot in the back of the net in the 90th minute, finishing the game with a score of 2-0. 

Cavino led the way for the Rams on the attack, taking two shots with one on-net and one hitting the crossbar. Morrissey played a solid game in net, finishing the day with five saves from twelve shots. Additional contributions came from Fitzgerald, D’Anna and senior Kaitlyn Sengphilom.

“We were just happy to get to play,” said Head Coach Megan Jessee. “We haven’t played in 11 months. I thought we dominated the first half. I think we just need to focus on our fitness and being ready to play for a full 90 minutes.”

Despite the defeat, she felt very strongly that there were a lot of positives to take from the game and wants to build on these positives heading into the rest of their non-conference schedule. 

In spite of being a young team that hasn’t gotten to be together consistently in the offseason, according to Jessee, she still believes that they have a chance to show out strong in the postseason.

“If we can put together a full 90 minutes and play like we did in the first half, I think we can really make strides in our non-conference schedule to get where we want to be come postseason time,” Jessee said.

With the season now officially underway, the young team will have more opportunities to gel together and build upon the positives from their opener. The Rams next travel to Connecticut to take on New England rival the University of Connecticut Huskies, where they will look to put their first tally in the win column. Kick off is slated for 2 p.m on Thursday, Feb. 25.