September 1, 2012

Trio of Bears Score Their First Career Goals to Propel Field Hockey Past Vermont, 3-2

PROVIDENCE, RI – Three different Bears each scored the first goals of their collegiate career to help lift the Brown field hockey team (1-1) to a 3-2 come-from-behind win over the University of Vermont (0-4) on Saturday afternoon at the new field hockey field. The Bears twice battle back from a one-goal deficit, tying the score at 1-1 and then at 2-2 before freshman Hannah Rogers (Mountain View, CA) tallied the game-winner with 2:16 left in regulation.

After falling behind, 2-1, early in the second half, sophomore Haley Alvarez (Martinsville, NJ) played a part in Brown's tying goal and winning goal. At the 64:42 mark, Alvarez intercepted a Vermont clearing attempt and played the ball ahead for herself, setting up a one-on-one with Catamounts goalie Stephanie Zygmunt. Alvarez dribbled into the circle on the left side, and with just Zygmunt to beat, calmly fired the ball into the left corner to tie the score at 2-2.

Then, just 3:02 later, Alvarez made a similar play to set up Rogers' winner. After intercepting another Vermont pass attempt, Alvarez sent a beautiful ball up field to Rogers, who was behind the Catamounts defense. Rogers pulled Zygmunt off her line and shot to the left side for the game-winner.

The two teams battled back and forth for almost the entire first half with neither team gaining any decided edge in the pace of play, as the shots were even at 5-5 through the first 23 minutes.

The Catamounts nearly took a 1-0 lead at the 23:23 mark when Colleen Slaughter deked Brown goalie Shannon McSweeney (Boxborough, MA) and had a wide open net at which to shoot. She raced in behind McSweeney on the right side, but her shot to the near corner ricocheted off the post and out of harms' way.

However, that seemed to ignite Vermont and just 4:15 later, Maddy Ostrander gave the visitors a 1-0 lead, scoring on a direct shot on one of the Catamounts' four first-half corners. Whitlee Burghardt and Alana Izzo both assisted the goal.

The lead was short-lived though, as Brown tied the game at 1-1 just 1:17 later on junior Maggie Brady's (Tulsa, OK) first career goal. Sophomore Liza Green (Providence, RI) fired a shot on net that Stephanie Zygmunt saved. However, the ball popped over the Vermont goalie and rolled towards the goal line, where Brady was able to poke it in, as the teams headed into the break knotted at 1-1.

The first nine minutes of the second half played out in much the same way as the beginning of the game, with each team generating offensive chances. Again, Vermont took lead when Taylor Silvestro knocked in the rebound of a shot by Sally Snickenberger in the 45th minute.

Following the goal, Brown earned a string of three corners in a row, but to no avail, as Zygmunt was up to the task, making four saves in a stretch of just over two minutes to keep her team ahead, 2-1.

The Catamounts continued to press, looking to increase their lead, but McSweeney matched Zygmunt, recording five saves in a period of eight minutes, keeping Brown in the game until Alvarez and Rogers combined for the final two goals.

For the game, Vermont held a 28-13 advantage in shots and a 7-6 lead in corners. McSweeney finished with 14 saves, including 10 in the second half, to close with weekend with 29 saves in two games.

The Bears continue their season-opening three-game homestand next Saturday, September 8, when they host Colgate in a 12:00 noon contest.

Pictured: Hannah Rogers '16 celebrates scoring the game-winning goal against Vermont. Photo by DSPics.net.