September 25, 2011

Lesbirel’s First Goal of the Season Lifts Bears Past Dartmouth, 1-0, in Overtime Thriller

PROVIDENCE, RI – Senior Marybeth Lesbirel (Holmdel, NJ) scored her first goal of the season to lift the Brown women's soccer team (5-2-1, 1-0-0) to a 1-0 overtime victory over Dartmouth (2-6-0, 0-1-0) on Sunday afternoon at Stevenson Field. The win, Brown's first over the Big Green since 2008, evens the all-time series at 17-17-1. The game, which was the 2011 Ivy opener for both teams, was fiercely contested throughout and became a goaltending battle with each goalie making game-saving stops at critical times.

Lesbirel's game-winner might not have happened for the Bears, if not for the outstanding play of sophomore goalie MC Barrett (Ithaca, NY) during the first part of overtime. The Big Green dominated the first six minutes of the extra frame, and Barrett was up to the task, making two crucial saves to keep the Bears alive. Just 1:22 into overtime, Barrett made a diving save on an attempt by Chrissy Lozier. Then at 96:10, she leapt up and deflected a shot by Emma Brush over the crossbar after a foul on a Bears' defender set up a free kick less than 25 yards out. The Big Green were able to get another shot off on the ensuing corner kick, but Kate Castillo's chance from the left side of the box went wide left, setting up Lesbirel's winner.

The golden goal was set up by senior Allison Kagawa (Mililani, HI), who connected with sophomore Maddie Wiener (Portland, OR) in the midfield. Wiener flicked the ball to Lesbirel on the left and the speedy forward dribbled up the left side, pulling Dartmouth's Tatiana Saunders out of the net, and beating her to the right corner.

Brown started off with intensity, doubling up the Big Green in shots, 14-7, during the opening 45 minutes. Sophomore Mika Siegelman (Piedmont, CA) nearly gave the Bears a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute, when she looked to one-time a cross by Kagawa to the right corner. However, Saunders dove to her left to make the save, keeping the game scoreless. Then just seven minutes later, Saunders made another diving save on an attempt by Siegelman, as the Bears were held off the board.

Just three minutes later, Dartmouth had a great chance to take the lead, but sophomore Amber Bledsoe (Cincinnati, OH) deflected a dangerous shot by Marina Moschitto up and over the crossbar to keep the Big Green off the board.

During the second period, the game was largely played in the midfield, as Dartmouth held a slim, 9-8, advantage in shots, as Barrett made three saves and Saunders recorded two. Brown's best chance of the period came with under five minutes remaining when Kagawa's free kick from about 25 yards out sailed just over the crossbar, as the teams headed for overtime.

In all, the Bears outshot the Big Green 23-20, while Dartmouth had the advantage in corner kicks, 8-4. Bledsoe made three saves in the first half, while Barrett earned the win, Brown's fourth shutout of the season, with five saves in the final 52:26. Saunders made six saves for the Big Green.

The Bears continue action on Wednesday, September 28, when they travel to Kingston to face in-state rival URI in a 7:00 p.m. contest.

Pictured: Marybeth Lesbirel '12. Photo by DSPics.net.