The Rhode Island Men’s Soccer team continued their strong start to the 2023 campaign Tuesday night, defeating the Holy Cross Crusaders 1-0 in Kingston. A well-placed strike early on from Rhode Island midfielder Ivan Montoro was the only difference between the sides, as the Rams dominated the Crusaders on course to their second victory of the season.
Rhode Island: (2-1-2), 14 shots, 6 on target, 10 fouls, 4 offsides, 1 save
Holy Cross: (1-4-1), 3 shots, 1 on target, 16 fouls, 3 offsides, 4 saves
Montoro Stars In Dominant Attacking Display
Despite just the one goal scored for Rhode Island, the Rams were dominant in attack and made work difficult for the Holy Cross defenders all night. Outshooting the Crusaders 14-3, Rhode Island was unlucky not to have two or three more goals on the scoresheet, thanks to some impressive saves from Holy Cross keeper Tristan Stephani. Yet, it would be Stephani whose error would cost Holy Cross in the end.
Early in the first half, the Crusaders attempted to play the ball back to their keeper, before it was picked off by Montoro at midfielder. The sophomore dashed up the pitch, before curling a well-placed effort beyond a back-tracking Stephani, catching him off his line from nearly 40 yards out. Grabbing the lead in the 8th minute, the Rams continued to roll for the remainder of the half, outshooting Holy Cross 8-1. Unlucky efforts from Kevin Castaneda and Brett Schwab missed by narrow margins, leaving the Rams with just the 1-0 advantage heading into halftime.
The second half proved to be more of the same for Rhode Island, with the Rams outshooting Holy Cross once again, this time 6-2. Holy Cross had an opportunity to even the score midway through the second half, but an incredible save from Rhode Island keeper Edu Rodriguez in the 60th minute preserved the Rams’ advantage. In the end, Rhode Island’s dominance would hold until the final whistle, with the Rams having multiple chances to add to their lead in the closing minutes from set pieces, but, ultimately, had to settle for just a 1-0 victory.
Conference Play on the Horizon
After five games (plus one scratched match due to weather against Central Connecticut), the Rams finish their opening non-conference streak with a 2-1-2 record and sit sixth in the Atlantic 10 (at the time of writing).
Next up, Rhode Island opens Atlantic 10 conference play away at Dayton on Saturday, 9/16. The Flyers have had an uninspiring start to their season, sitting at 1-4-1, with their one win coming against IUPUI on September 1st. Expect the Rams to head to Dayton with a point to prove, given that the Flyers ended the Rams’ playoff hopes on the final day of the 2022 season, winning 2-0 in Kingston.
Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. and will be streamed live on ESPN+.