October 26, 2010

No. 13 Bears Shutout Holy Cross, 2-0

Providence, RI- Senior forward Jon Okafor (Verona, NJ) and junior forward Jay Hayward (Acton, MA) each scored goals tonight to lead the No. 13 Brown University men's soccer team (10-1-3) to a 2-0 victory over Holy Cross (3-10-3) on Stevenson Field tonight.

The Bears seemed to get off to a slow start this evening and Holy Cross tried to capitalize on it just 21 seconds into the contest. Senior midfielder Jon Werth was able to crack through the Brown defense and fired off the first shot of the night, however a Brown defender stepped in front of it and cleared the ball.

Bruno got back on track and picked up the intensity as sophomore defender Dylan Remick (Inverness, IL) registered the Bears' first shot, a header, after a corner kick by senior David Walls (Leeds, England) at the 6:49 mark, but missed wide. Another Walls corner led to a header shot by Okafor that got blocked, and junior midfielder Rob Medairos (Stafford, VA) collected the rebound and fired one off as well that was stopped by the defense.

Holy Cross goalkeeper Evan Polanik picked up his first two saves of the game at 10:59 and 11:08 after shots by Okafor and Coleman, but the Bears were finally able to get one through and light up the scoreboard on a score by Okafor at the 16:49 mark. Walls blasted the ball into the left corner that Evan Coleman (Amherst, MA) headed toward the low past Polanik. Okafor then charged forward beating Polanik to the ball and tapped it in to give the Bears a 1-0 edge.

The Bears rattled off 10 shots to the Crusaders two in the first 45 minutes of play, and went into halftime with a 4-1 advantage in corner kicks.

It didn't take long for the Bears to put another tally on the scoreboard. Just 2:06 into the second half, junior midfielder Mike Manella (Toluca Lake, CA) crossed a shot back to Hayward who beat his defender in the air to head it past Polanik.

Brown tallied 18 shots in the second half and held Holy Cross to just four for a 28-6 advantage overall. The 28 shots and total of nine on goal were both season highs.

The Bears defense proved to be tough once again, as they earned their 11th shutout of the season. Senior goalkeeper Paul Grandstrand (Orono, MN) tied former Brown goalkeeper Matt Cross' career record of 24 shutouts in a career. Also playing exceptionally well tonight for the Bears was Bobby Belair (Myrtle Beach, SC) who proved to be a spark off the bench (both offensively and defensively) as he led the offense with a team-high four shots and made some solid stops on defense.

The Bears will be back in action on Saturday, Oct. 30, when they play No. 14 Penn in a key Ivy League match. Then, the Bears will be back at home to host Yale on Saturday, Nov. 6, in their final home game of the 2010 season