27th-Ranked Rams Defeat Denver in OT, Win Atlantic 10 Regular Season Crown

27th-Ranked Rams Defeat Denver in OT, Win Atlantic 10 Regular Season Crown

RHODE ISLAND (12-3-2)
Starters: Schmidt (GK), Karterud, Kristiansen, Middrup, Benco, Zarokostas, Kolakofsky, Tamburini, Booth, Maddox, Akselsen
Substitutes: Read, Drayer, Gesmundo, Cannon, Arhin, Kawale

DENVER (3-11-3)
Starters: Palmquist (GK), Russo, Heller, O'Toole, Stretch, DeLeone, Norman, Stensson, Drack, Keeney, McWilliams
Substitutes: Barlow, Kaddah, Mereness, Craford, Ohira

Scoring Summary
4:38 - URI - Zarokostas (unassisted)
55:41 - DU - Ohira (unassisted)
97:50 - URI - Arhin (Kristiansen)

How it Happened
Derick Arhin's first career goal could not have come at a more opportune time as the redshirt sophomore's 98th minute header gave Rhode Island a 2-1 victory at Denver Saturday night.

Stavros Zarokostas had put Rhody on the board at the 4:38 mark when he stripped a Denver defender, made a 30-yard run into the box and fired a shot into the back right corner for the 1-0 advantage.

The Pioneers eventually evened the score in the 56th minute, on an unassisted goal by Kengo Ohira. With the score still knotted at 1-1 at the end of regulation, the game went to overtime, where Arhin's late heroics proved to be the difference.

Happening parallel to Rhody's game at Denver was the Atlantic 10 regular season finale between Fordham and Saint Louis. The Billikens had entered that game needing a win to tie URI in the conference standings and claim a share of the A-10 regular season title. However a 2-0 Fordham victory resulted in Rhode Island winning the league title outright. The Rams will now enter next weekend's A-10 Championship as the #1 seed. 

Inside the Box Score

  • The A-10 regular season crown is the seventh in program history for the Rams. Rhody also finished atop the league standings in 1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2005 and 2014.
  • It is the Rams' second A-10 regular season title under head coach Gareth Elliott, who also led Rhody to a regular season title back in 2014.
  • Elliott has now won five Atlantic 10 regular season titles - two as a head coach (2014, 2019), one as an assistant coach (2005) and two as a player for the Rams (1999, 2001).
  • Senior Stavros Zarokostas scored his 26th career goal in the win over the Pioneers, giving him 69 career points (26g/17a) in 69 games played. His 69 career points rank 13th all time at Rhode Island.
  • Redshirt sophomore Derick Arhin's game-winning goal came on the first shot of his career. This was just his fifth appearance for the Rams since coming to Kingston in the fall of 2017.
  • Senior Peder Kristiansen recorded his 22nd career assist on Arhin's game-winner. The 22 assists - which tie Kristiansen for seventh all-time at URI - are the most ever by a Rhode Island defender.
  • Stefan Schmidt made five saves in the win, all of which came in the second half.
  • The Rams are now 3-0-1 in overtime games this season.

Up Next
The Rams return to the URI Soccer Complex on Saturday night, when they will host the A-10's to-be-determined #8 seed in the quarterfinals of the conference championship. The Atlantic 10 expects to release postseason seeds and pairings on Sunday morning.