Sept. 5, 2008
Providence, RI - The Bears opened the 2008 season with a tough loss at Stevenson field Friday night, falling 1-0 to St. John's on the first night of the adidas-Brown Soccer Classic. Despite doubling the Johnnies in shots on goal, with six, Brown was unable to get the ball past keeper Neal Kitson to put the game into overtime.
The first half was marked by sparkling play in goal, as the two teams fought their way to a scoreless tie at halftime. Although good scoring chances were hard to come by, each squad had some opportunities to put the first tally on the board. With just over 36 minutes remaining in the period Alexandre Ivo put a header inches wide of the goal for the Johnnies. Senior captain Dylan Sheehan (Wolfville, NS) answered later in the half for the Bears, just missing a header of his own off a cross from teammate Jon Okafor (Verona, NJ).
The defense was strong again for both teams coming out of the half, as they continued to dig down and get stops. Just over a minute into the period Brown just missed a long shot from the right side, with Kitson knocking it out of bounds. On the ensuing corner the Bears saw a header beat Kitson before knocking off the crossbar to keep the game scoreless.
With both teams playing hard it appeared that an overtime period might be necessary to determine the outcome. However, St. John junior Adam Himeno took a pass upfield and knocked in a short shot from the left side, just past the outstretched hand of Brown keeper Paul Grandstrand (Orono, MN), for what would ultimately be the winning goal. Brown had several good looks as the game wore on, most notably a sliding shot by Okafor that required a diving save from Kitson, but the Bears were unable to find the back of the net to send the game into an extra period.
In the opening game of the Classic earlier in the day Boston College squeaked out a similarly tight game against Villanova, also by a score of 1-0. The two teams played scoreless ball for almost 80 minutes before the Eagles were finally able to get on the scoreboard, and held on against a desperate last push from Villanova.
The teams will have the day off tomorrow, but the Classic will resume on Sunday with Boston College and St. John's kicking off at noon. Following that game the Bears will be in action at 2:30 as they look to even their record against Villanova.