Women’s Soccer Absorbs 4-0 Loss to First-Place Endicott

BY STEVEN SOUSA // Oct. 14, 2017//

Endicott’s overwhelming offensive attack proved to be too much for the women’s soccer team Saturday afternoon, as final score registered 4-0 in favor of the first-place Gulls.

Much of the first half was spent in the Colonels’ own side of the field and initially didn’t result in a lot of goals. But they were clearly playing with fire.

Endicott broke the tie in the 37th minute when forward Samantha Lello tapped in a rebound for a score, but it didn’t come without controversy.  Gull defenseman Shannon Hickey took a corner kick that bounced off the hands of Curry’s goalkeeper, Haley Rice, and Lello was able to clean up.

Colonels head coach Jason Tassinari felt the call could have easily gone the other way and he let the referee know.

“With the way college officials protect the goalkeepers, I thought that the referee could have blown a quick whistle thinking that maybe the ball was close to her fingers where one finger is technically considered possession,” said Tassinari.  “If we go into halftime 0-0, maybe it’s a different game in the second half.”

The second half was more of the same for Curry but this time, Endicott converted many more opportunities.

The Gulls erupted for three goals in an eight-minute span. The Colonels, who averaged over 18 shots per game heading into the contest, could only muster four on the afternoon, compared to Endicott’s 22.

Tassinari said that the defensive scheme they deployed combined with the skill of the Gulls; it was no surprise that the possession battle turned out in Endicott’s favor, but Curry wasn’t totally without chances.

“We had self-inflicted wounds,” Tassinari explained. “We had chances to attack, chances to play in the offensive third but our own technical skill let us down, we weren’t attacking with that intensity level.”

The loss puts the Colonels at 8-5-3 on the season, but 1-3-2 within the Commonwealth Coast Conference, placing them at 6th.  Their last two losses came against the top two teams in the CCC in Endicott and Roger Williams.

Next up for the Colonels are three “very winnable” games according to Tassinari.  They will need to win out in order to host a home playoff game.

Curry heads to Biddeford, ME on Wednesday to face the eighth-place University of New England Nor’easters, who are 1-4-1 in the conference.

Men’s Soccer Grabs First CCC Win Over Salve Regina, 2-1

BY STEVEN SOUSA //

The Curry men’s soccer team extended their winning streak after earning their first Commonwealth Coast Conference win over Salve Regina University Saturday afternoon in Milton.

Both teams headed into the game on a three-game win-streak, scoring a combined 26 goals over that span.  Despite the fireworks in those previous games, this game did not display nearly as many explosions.

Both defenses came out solid to start the game and the halftime score showed a scoreless tie. Sophomore defenseman Mitchell Forbes had a lot to do with the Colonels’ defensive performance.

The Boxford, Mass. native had a stellar game, especially in that opening half when he was able to clear the ball in multiple one-on-one battles on his side of the field.

In the final 45, all the Colonels needed was a single goal to separate themselves from the Seahawks. A little over 15 minutes into it, an opportunity presented itself.

Junior midfielder Christian Mancini lined up for a corner kick and directed it only where senior Ben Silvia could get it in the box. Silvia guided the ball with his head into the back of the net to take a 1-0 advantage in the 57th minute.

However, about 15 minutes after that, senior Jared Warren found an opportunity to find some twine for Salve. Junior John Julian sent a through ball and Warren lifted it over sophomore goalkeeper Paul DeMaio’s head for the equalizer in the 72nd minute.

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Senior Ben Silvia stares down Junior Michael Payan before converting on the penalty shot.// PHOTO BY STEVEN SOUSA ’19

Curry wasted no time formulating a response though, and it was again due to the play of Silvia. Hailing from Dartmouth, Mass. the co-captain drew a foul and was awarded a penalty shot just 1:33 after the Seahawks tied it.

Silvia beat Salve’s keeper, junior Michael Payan, and took back the lead for the Colonels with just over 17 minutes to play.

It was once again up to the Curry defense to close out the game and they were able to do just that to earn the first CCC win of the season.

The one-goal performance left Colonels’ Head Coach Peter Mendel pleased with his entire defensive unit.

“They worked for each other, they covered each other, and they did a heck of a job defensively shutting down a team that’s put away a lot of goals,” said Mendel.  “From a whole effort standpoint, the back four and the goalkeeper played great.”

Mendel elaborated that today’s offensive performance, on the other hand, was a credit to the work Silvia has put in over the years.

“Ben’s had a couple injuries here and there but he’s kept the faith, he’s stayed focused,” Mendel noted. “He’s done what we’ve asked him to do and now he’s seeing what happens if you’re patient.”

The Purple and White now sit at 4-1-1 overall and move to the top half of the CCC, joining the rest of the teams opening conference play with a victory.  These Colonels are trying to prove that this year is different, a sentiment Silvia explained after the game.

“I think it has definitely changed from last year and the year prior when we were fighting a lot,” Silvia said. “This time I feel like we are all on the same page, we all work really well together. Our coaches have been pushing us to stay together and I think we’re actually a team this year, we’re getting the results that we want.”

They will look to continue that trend Monday evening, as they will hit the road to Chicopee, Mass. to face Elms College in a non-conference showdown kicking off at 6 p.m.

The host Blazers will be looking for their first win, after starting the 2017 campaign on a 0-5 note.

Men’s Soccer Shutout by CCC Rival Gordon College, 5-0

BY TYLER MILLIKEN // OCT. 23, 2016 //

The men’s soccer team struggled to compete against Gordon College on Saturday and lost 5-0 at home on a wet and windy Senior Night.

Emotions were high prior to the game, as seniors Dan Johnson, Steven DePina, Nick LaPenna, and Kevin Leite all received a flower and were thanked for their contributions as a Colonel. They also led the huddle to get the team pumped up and prepared to play their final regular season game at home.

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Senior Kevin Leite (20) is honored before the game. Photo by Tyler Milliken

Once the first whistle blew, though, it was obvious Gordon was a force Curry wouldn’t be able to keep up with. A combination of speed and perfect communication left the Colonels beat up and down the field. These struggles on defense led to a number of shots being put on goal to start the game, and senior goalkeeper Dan Johnson wasn’t able to keep up with the bombardment.

Just 5:33 into the first half, Gordon’s Caleb Cole placed a corner kick right in front of the net, and junior defender Jerry Williams knocked it in with a header. It was a tough start for the Colonels, who were looking to make a stand against the second-best team in the Commonwealth Coast Conference.

Goalie Dan Johnson was quite vocal from this point on, relaying different calls to his teammates. However, after the first goal, the Colonels seemed to fall flat. All the emotion prior to the game was nowhere to be found, and the Fighting Scots jumped on the opportunity.

Cole went on to put Gordon up 2-0 at the 12:43 mark, putting a ball right in front of the net for Josh Beveridge off a corner kick. Beveridge put a header that was just barely outside of Johnson’s dive attempt.

Even with a 2-0 lead, the Fighting Scots had no interest in slowing down. Their pressure on offense later created another corner-kick opportunity for Cole. He placed the ball in front of the net for Matt Chartier, who followed suit and put a header into the top right corner, too quick for Johnson to even react.

Gordon continued to launch shots on goal through the rest of the first half, but none were able to find the back of the net, yet, at halftime, the Fighting Scots was outshooting Curry 8-1.

Frustration was boiling over for the Colonels, as they talked over the game plan during the intermission. It was obvious they weren’t happy with their play, but there was still a significant amount of time left.

Once the second-half whistle blew, Curry drove down the field fairly easily for their second shot of the night. Junior midfielder Ben Silvia was able to get a clean look, but Gordon’s goalkeeper made a terrific play to knock it down and clear it out of the box.

Even though the Colonels were showing some fight to start the second half, the Fighting Scots weren’t interested in letting this game get close. For the fourth time on the night, Cole was awarded an assist after his third corner kick of the game found freshman Noah Craig’s head in the box.

The game was beginning to get away from the Colonels, and they knew it. In every facet of the game, they were being outplayed. Johnson noted after the game, that “It’s tough, sometimes it feels like you can’t do anything out there.”

Communication for Curry continued to be an issue all night, as the Fighting Scots broke up poor passing decisions. The Colonels were trying to lead each other down the field but failed to do so successfully. Gordon ended the scoring with another header from Beveridge, this time leading to an assist on junior Josh Cochran’s goal with 34:36 to play.

It wasn’t too soon after this last barrage of goals, that Curry began to find some success on the offensive side of the ball. For the first time all night, the Colonels created solid scoring opportunities in front of the net and ended up outshooting the Scots 6-3 in the second half, but failed to register a goal.

It was a devastating loss for Curry, who was looking to improve their seeding with only one more game remaining on the schedule.

One More Trip: The senior Colonels take to the road with their 6-12-1 record for one more regular-season road trip, to faraway Eastern Nazarene, which is all of 20 minutes down the road.

Work the Corners: Gordon College heavily out-weighed the Colonels on corner kicks, racking up 9 to Curry’s 2.

Save me a seat: Curry goalkeeper Dan Johnson has now racked up 74 saves over the season, good enough for the third-best mark in the entire conference.

Women’s Soccer kicks off homecoming weekend with a win

BY BRANDON WILFORE // Oct. 22, 2016 //

The last game at home is something special for athletes, and six Curry seniors were able to go out on top with a 1-0 conference win over Gordon College.

With rain coming down almost sideways, the gloomy mood was set as tears and raindrops poured down the seniors faces during the opening ceremony. As soon as the ceremony concluded, however, it was all business for the Colonels who were seeking their 10th win of the season.

The first half was back and forth as both teams were slipping and sliding in the rain. The Fighting Scots got off six shots and senior Morgan Stott, who has been a huge asset to the team all year, made five spectacular saves. Curry only had three looks at goal in this half, their offense seemed sluggish and no one really wanted it.

0-0 at the half.

The second half started and the Colonels passed the ball into play and to the outside where they made a run at the end line with numbers. No less than 20 seconds into the second half, senior Kaitlyn Lima had a beautiful ground-ball cross and classmate Briana Fitzsimmons buried her fourth goal of the year to put Curry up 1-0 in her last home game.

The Colonels were the hungrier team in the second half, winning virtually every header and beating out every loose ball. They weren’t going to let anybody spoil their senior night.

Curry got solid contributions from many seniors, including Kelly Parker, who had multiple great looks off of corner kicks leading to many opportunities for the Colonels. Senior Christina Chiofalo put in solid minutes all over the field.

On top of that, Abbey Sadlers suited up and got her first start since 2014 when she had been sidelined due to concussion issues. It was a very emotional night for all involved.

The inspired Colonels held on to win 1-0 and improved to 10-7-2 to keep their playoff hopes alive and well.

Playoff Push: Curry has now won two straight conference games and ends the season against conference foe Eastern Nazarene Tuesday night at 9 p.m.

Injury Bug: Junior Cassie Grasso and senior Korinna Tsonis both came down with season-threatening injuries, possibly serious enough to put the regular season finale and postseason play in jeopardy.

Future?: Although Curry has six seniors, only four of them see consistent playtime, while the underclassmen backups get minutes to develop and gel for the years to come.

Women’s soccer falls in final minute to Suffolk University

BY BRANDON WILFORE // Oct. 13, 2016 //

Domination would be a perfect word to describe the first 89 minutes of Curry’s 1-0 loss to the Suffolk Hawks Wednesday night. But soccer is a 90-minute game.

The first half was all Colonels; holding the ball in their half for nearly all 45 minutes. The Hawks looked uninterested as they were jogging to loose balls and sometimes leaving Colonels wide open on throw-ins. Suffolk had about six reserves so if Curry could run and wear down the Hawks, they should be able to retake the same control they had in the first.

The Colonels hit the post three times over in the opening half, not quite able to net a goal in the first 45. At the half, Curry outshot Suffolk 17-1, and their lone shot was a weak dribbler that goalkeeper Morgan Stott ate up.

Curry earned only a pair of corner kicks, but both led to nice looks at goal. On one of them, the Suffolk goalie Kirsten Weiker dove to her right and made a seemingly impossible save to keep the game scoreless.

The second half was identical to the first half… almost.

The Colonels continued to bombard the Hawks’ by shooting the ball at will. Jules Petrucelli provided offense all night for Curry with eight shots, most from distance. But one shot was far better than the others.

With about six minutes left in the game the Colonels, once again, were on the offensive attack. A sense of urgency was in the air as the parents in the stands, players on Curry’s bench and players on the field were all hungry to break the 0-0 tie.

Petrucelli dribbled the ball up the field and looked to score from about the 30-yard line. She cranked a shot high in the air, looking like it was going to go well over the net, and then it started to drop. Bang. Off the crossbar and out.

It was one of the better looks the Colonels had all night and they weren’t even done yet. They kept the attack on for the next four minutes, but the aggression ended up backfiring.

After Weiker made a save, she booted the ball to midfield hoping for a good counterattack with a minute left in the game. A Suffolk midfielder kicked the ball in the air towards the Colonels’ goalkeeper and it landed at the top of the penalty box where two Curry defenders collided going for the ball and the Hawks’ Madelyn Whipple came out of the pile with the ball.

Goal. 59 seconds left on the clock.

Suffolk fans and players cheered knowing they had locked up a win.

The Colonels had one more opportunity with about six seconds left when junior Cassie Grasso had the ball near the goal but a Hawk defender got the ball away from her and the horn sounded. Grasso fell to the ground in shock.

Curry players walk around in defeat and disbelief. Suffolk cheered, as they knew they stole a game they had no business winning.

“We were the better team all night and one mistake beat us, this is one of the toughest losses I’ve ever experienced,” said Grasso.

Lopsided: Curry had two players (Lima and Petrucelli) who had more shots by themselves than Suffolk had the whole game. Lima (9) and Petrucelli (8) alone outshot Suffolk 17-4.

Playoff picture: The Colonels currently hold the final playoff spot in the conference. They have four conference games left out of five total games over the next 12 days.

Offense?: Curry has failed to score more than 2 goals in a game since September 20th.