Men's Soccer: Purcell's two assists power URI to first victory of season.
The University of Rhode Island Rams picked up their first victory of the season with a 2-0 decision versus the Blue Devils from Central Connecticut State University. It took just seven minutes for the Rams to get on the board as Rafa Villanueva struck one on goal that was initially blocked. The rebound bounced out on the foot of Cian Purcell who sent the cross back to Villanueva to bang it home and the Rams were off and running. Forward Patrick Agyemang said during postgame following their match against Hofstra, "we don't lose two in a row, that's not the character of this team, we'll be hungrier and we want that dub." It was totally proven as the Rams dominated the midfield throughout the first forty-five minutes, barely letting the Blue Devils anywhere near the final third. At the halftime break they had just two shots on goal compared to the Rams nine. That control continued throughout the second half of play, as the shot differential was just one for CCSU to nine again for URI. Shot totals finished 18-3 in favor of URI. The Rams were able to nail a brace in the 76th minute as the mentioned Agyemang this time found the back of the net on a beautiful set piece through the box from Cian Purcell, who clearly cemented himself as the player of the match for the Rams.
Stefan Schmidt picked up his first clean sheet of the season and the offensive pressure shown by the Rams all night was also supported by Igor Manrique and Isak Oyetese. "We moved Cian up from outside back to outside midfield, it takes away a little something from our backline, but he's got a lot of energy and he did a good job for us." said Coach Gareth Elliot He goes on to add about how "moving a few different players in and a few other players out created a bit more hunger in the team which showed from the start of the game. They have a team goal about not losing two in a row and if that works for their confidence we'll see how it goes." Defenseman Zach Drayer felt about the game "we were buzzing tonight, last week humbled us a bit, but we sometimes have to fall down so that we can get back up." When talking about having to play UConn on Friday, Drayer added "it won't be too hard for us to get up for that one, we always have a little personal vendetta against them."
The Man of the Match Cian Purcell finished off the postgame comments by adding "it felt amazing to get on the stat sheet and help the team out. Just serving that ball and being able to get on a head or foot for the back of the net and celebrate helps us all out so much." He added, "this team is such a family and we all want each other to succeed because we know that's how we succeed as a team." The Rams will be back in action on the road vs. University of Connecticut on Friday. #gorhody #rhodeisland #rams #bluedevils #ccsu #cianpurcell #patrickagyemang #rafavillanueva #garethelliot #menssoccer