PROVIDENCE, RI – Sophomore Chloe Cross (Seattle, WA) scored her team-leading fourth goal of the year, while juniors Amber Bledsoe (Cincinnati, OH) and MC Barrett (Ithaca, NY) combined for five saves to help lift the Brown women's soccer team (5-1-0) to its fifth shutout of the season, a 1-0 victory over Sacred Heart (3-5-0) Sunday afternoon at Stevenson Field. The win is the third 1-0 decision in a row for the Bears.
Cross' goal came in the 34th minute of play and was one of six high quality scoring chances for the Bears in the opening half, during which they outshot the Pioneers, 11-6.
Cross started the play when she headed a 50-50 ball to junior Mika Siegelman (Piedmont, CA) on the right. Siegelman made a move around her defender and threaded a pass through traffic back to Cross, who raced into the box for a one-on-one. She pulled Sacred Heart's Sydney Judkins off her line and shot for the far corner, where the ball bounced off the post and into the net at 33:45.
The Bears' lead could have been larger than 1-0 at the break if not for a couple unlucky bounces and a few nice plays by Judkins and the Pioneers' defense to help keep Sacred Heart within a goal.
Just 20 minutes into the contest, Cross hit senior Eliza Marshall (North Andover, MA) with a beautiful pass across the top of the box. Marshall had Judkins beat, but Alyssa Brandofino was on the goalline to save the shot and keep the game scoreless.
Just nine seconds later, and with Judkins still out of position, junior Emily Wingrove (Winchester, MA) saw her follow up attempt from the top of the box ricochet off the cross-bar.
Less than four minutes later, Cross nearly snapped the 0-0 tie, freeing herself for a breakaway. However, her final touch had a bit too much on it and Judkins came racing off her line to smother the loose ball just before Cross could take a shot.
Then, with less than eight minutes left in the half and Brown leading, 1-0, junior Maddie Wiener (Portland, OR) had a chance to add to the lead. Wiener collected the ball from junior Louisa Pitney (Washington, DC) and dribbled towards the goal. With just Judkins to beat, Wiener's shot just missed, hitting the cross bar. She collected her own rebound for a second-chance attempt, but shot high of the net.
The two teams continued to battle throughout the second half with Sacred Heart edging Brown in shots over the final 45 minutes, 6-5. The Pioneers' best chance at the equalizer came with under two minutes remaining when Jen Melvey's attempt from inside the box missed high, as Brown was able to hold on for the win.
For the game, the Bears held a 16-12 advantage in shots, including a 7-5 advantage in shots on goal. Brown had four corners, all in the second half, to Sacred Heart's three.
Brown continues action on Thursday afternoon when it hosts UMass in a 4:00 p.m. non-league contest. The Bears open their 2012 Ivy League schedule on September 23rd when they face Dartmouth in Hanover.
Pictured: Chloe Cross '15. Photo by DSPics.net.