PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Senior Voltaire Escalona (Blue Bell, Pa.) scored in the 67th minute to break a scoreless contest and lift the No. 20 Brown men's soccer team to a 1-0 shutout over intrastate rival Bryant in the season opener and first round of the Ocean State Classic Friday night at Stevenson Field. Brown opens the season at 1-0-0 while Bryant dips to 1-2-0 overall.
Brown managed just one shot in the first half, as a hard shot from Voltaire hit Bryant keeper Chris Knaub directly in the chest, but the Bears fought off three corners in the stanza to hold a scoreless tie at halftime. Bryant held a 5-1 shot advantage in the first half.
Escalona broke a 0-0 stalemate at 66:28 when he fielded a centering pass from Jose Salama (Madrid, Spain) in his chest, turned in front of the net and drilled the top left corner to give the home side the 1-0 advantage.
The Bulddgos came back five minutes later when Irvin Rivera opened up a shot off a corner, but Brown keeper Josh Weiner (Armonk, N.Y.) deflected the attack and sent the possession down field. Bryant was unable to get off a shot throughout the rest of the contest as the Bears kept control of the pace to seal the victory.
Senior goalkeeper Weiner picked up the victory for the Bears as he recorded four saves to earn the shutout. Knaub registered three saves for the Bulldogs in a losing effort. Bryant outshot the Bears, 9-6, and won the battle for corner kicks by a 5-1 margin.
The Bears will visit Providence for the Ocean State Soccer Classic title on Sunday, Sept. 8 at 4 p.m. in a rematch of last year's championship game. The Friars also picked up a win the first round of the tournament with a 2-1 victory at Rhode Island.