October 15, 2008

Bears Dominate at Both Ends of the Field in 5-0 Victory over Sacred Heart

Oct. 15, 2008

Box Score

PROVIDENCE, RI - The Brown women's soccer team (5-4-4) closed out the non-league portion of its schedule with a dominating 5-0 victory over Sacred Heart (1-11-3) on Wednesday evening at Stevenson Field. Four different players scored in the win, including senior Lindsay Cunningham (Cumberland, RI) who struck twice. With the two goals and four points, Cunningham has moved into 12th all-time with 18 career goals and 12th all-time with 50 career points. Meanwhile, at the other end of the field, Brown's defense was impenetrable, as the Pioneers failed to register a single shot in the contest.

The Bears dominated the game from start to finish, building a 26-0 advantage in shots for the game, and erupting for three second-half goals. Freshman Marybeth Lesbirel (Holmdel, NJ), who earned her first start of the season, nearly put Brown on top in the 13th minute, but her chance on a breakaway was saved by Sacred Heart's Meghan Reichelt, as the score remained tied at zero.

However, just eight minutes later, Lesbirel helped spark the Bears offense with an assist on what would prove to be the game-winning goal. Junior Melissa Kim (Bethesda, MD), who finished the game with a goal and two assists, found Lesbirel on the right sideline, heading the ball ahead to the speedy forward. Lesbirel sent an arching cross into the box that appeared to be headed into the goal on its own at the far post, but Cunningham made sure that it went in, getting her head on it to put the Bears up, 1-0.

Brown increased its lead with just 2:51 remaining in the first half on freshman Gloria Chun's (Irvine, CA) first career goal. Chun collected the ball from a Sacred Heart player along the left side, dribbled in, and fired a rocket from about 25 yards out that beat Reichelt to the center of the goal to put Brown up, 2-0, at the half.

Junior Kiki Manners (North Potomac, MD) nearly put Bruno up, 3-0, just 3:07 into the second half when her shot from the right side was saved by Reichelt. The Sacred Heart keeper left a huge rebound out, but the Pioneers were able to clear the ball before another Brown player could get to it.

The Pioneers began to pressure offensively towards the middle part of the second half, earning their first corner kick of the game at 56:59 and their second and final corner kick 10 minutes later. But, both times Brown was able to come up with the 50-50 ball, and the Bears put the game away over the final 10 minutes, connecting for three goals in a span of 4:28.

Cunningham started the three-goal barrage at 79:56 with her second goal of the night. The Bears' leading scorer beat Reichelt with a low shot to the left post on a Brown corner kick taken by sophomore Joyce Chun (Irvine, CA), who earned her first career assist on the goal. Just 2:22 later, junior Bridget Ballard (Los Angeles, CA) increased the Bears' lead to 4-0 with her first of the season. Sophomore Sylvia Stone (Bronx, NY) took a corner from the right side that found Ballard's head right in front. Ballard timed her header perfectly and directed the ball near post between a Pioneers' defender and the goalie. Kim capped the three-goal outburst 2:06 after Ballard's goal, finishing off a give-and-go with freshman Sarah Hebert-Seropian (Vaudreuil-Dorion, QUE).

In addition to outshooting the Pioneers, 26-0, Brown also won the corner kick battle, 13-2. Hogue earned the win and combined with junior Steffi Yellin (Savannah, GA), who played the final 8:05, to post Brown's fifth shutout of the season.

In addition to Cunningham moving up in Brown's all-time record books, Kim has also entered the all-time top-20 career assist leaders, picking up her eighth career assist in tonight's win. The Bears return to action on Saturday, October 18, when they host Harvard in a 3:00 p.m. Ivy League contest.