September 20, 2011

Bryant Spoils Bears Comeback with Winning Tally in 56th minute

PROVIDENCE, RI – Bryant's Kayleigh Ballantyne scored on a breakaway at 55:30 to lift the Bulldogs (3-4) to a 3-2 victory over the Brown field hockey team (1-5) on Tuesday afternoon at Warner Roof. Ballantyne's goal came just 20 minutes after the Bears had tied the game on the first goal of the season by senior Abigail Taft (Shaker Heights, OH).

"We are getting better at the type of style and the game we want to have," said head coach Jill Reeve. "We need to execute corners and get something out of our efforts. Hopefully that will be the next piece that fits in and we will be able to get the results that we desire at this point."

Brown opened the game's scoring just 15 minutes in, when freshman Clayton Christus (Bernardsville, NJ) scored her first career goal on a Bears' penalty corner. Seniors Laura Iacovetti (Blue Bell, PA) and Leslie Springmeyer (New Vernon, NJ) both assisted, as Christus fired a rocket to the left corner of the net at 15:01.

However, the Bulldogs would answer just 35 seconds later when Rosie Bird beat freshman Shannon McSweeney (Boxborough, MA) for her seventh goal of the season.

The Bulldogs would go ahead, 2-1, at 22:05, scoring on a penalty corner of their own. Emily Charpentier left the ball for Olivia Jankins at the top of the circle and Jankins' shot to the left side deflected off McSweeney's pad and into the cage.

With the score still 2-1 in favor of the Bulldogs, the Bears came out with intensity to start the second half and almost immediately tied the game at 2-2. Just 26 seconds into the second frame, sophomore Avery Burns (Millersville, MD) sent a beautiful cross to Taft in the center of the circle. With her back to the goal, Taft settled the ball, before spinning and firing a shot to the right corner for her first goal of the year.

Both teams were aggressive to the ball over the next 20 minutes, but the Bulldogs capitalized on a breakaway at the 55:30 mark for the game-winner. McSweeney made a save on Ballantyne's first attempt on the one-on-one, but Ballantyne corralled her own rebound and snuck it past McSweeney to the near post for her third of the year.

The Bears had several chances to tie the game in the final minutes, earning four corners in the last five minutes, including two with less than three to play. However, Bryant was able to clear the ball each time and Jennifer Gullotti made a save on an attempt by Burns with 48 seconds remaining to help her team post the win.

For the game, the two teams were even in shots, 16-16, while McSweeney recorded six saves and Gullotti had three. Brown earned 11 corners to Bryant's nine.

The Bears return to action this weekend when they host Dartmouth and Colgate in a pair of games at Warner Roof. Brown welcomes the Big Green on Saturday and the Raiders on Sunday with both games slated for 12:00 noon.

Pictured: Clayton Christus '15. Photo by DSPics.net.