Springmeyer & Taft Each Score Twice to Lead Bears Past Bryant, 6-2

Post-game interview with Abigail Taft '12 available here.

PROVIDENCE, RI –
Playing their second game in less than 24 hours, the Brown field hockey team (1-4) showed no signs of fatigue in posting its first win of the 2010 season, 6-2 over Bryant (0-7). The Bears were led by juniors Leslie Springmeyer (New Vernon, NJ) and Abigail Taft (Shaker Heights, OH), who each scored two goals, while freshman Torie Stearns (Rye, NY) notched three assists.

The Bulldogs opened the scoring just 1:40 into the game when Courtney Landi tipped a through ball from Rachel Blitz past junior Lauren Kessler (Burtonsville, MD) for the early lead.

However, Brown answered just 2:19 later when Springmeyer scored her first of the game off a pass from Taft. Taft then scored her first of the day at 17:43 when she received a cross from Stearns at the left post and tipped the ball near side, giving Brown a 2-1 lead.

Bryant would answer to again tie the score, as Landi tallied her second of the day, knocking in the rebound of a blocked shot by Brittany Glenn at 20:44. Stearns nearly gave Brown a 3-2 lead just 1:20 later when she had a one-on-one chance, but Bryant's Jennifer Gullotti denied the Brown rookie with a left pad save to keep the score tied at two, which is how it remained for the rest of the half.

The Bears dominated the first 20 minutes of the second half, holding Bryant without a shot, while building a 5-2 lead. Senior Cassie Puhalla (Forty Fort, PA) scored what would prove to be the game-winner at 43:45 and less than a minute later, at 44:12, Springmeyer's second of the game, off a pass from Stearns, gave Brown a 4-2 lead.

Puhalla's goal came up when she picked up a lose ball at the top right of the circle and fired it through traffic, beating Gullott to the left post for her first career goal. Stearns connected with Springmeyer on a pass from the right side. Stationed right in front of the goal, Springmeyer one-timed the ball to the left corner, forcing Bryant to call a timeout.

Things settled down for the next eight minutes, but Taft converted another Stearns' pass at 52:17 to increase Brown's lead to 5-2.

Kessler, who made one save in the first half, helped secure the win for Brown, stopping seven Bryant shots in the final 15 minutes of play, several of which came from close range.

Senior Katie Hyland (Riegelsville, PA) closed out the scoring at 68:36, converting her second penalty stroke of the weekend to account for the 6-2 final.

For the game, Brown outshot Bryant, 34-15, including a 20-10 margin in shots on goal. The Bears also doubled up the Bulldogs in penalty corners, earning 12 to Bryant's six.

Brown returns to action next weekend when it travels to Hanover, NH to face Dartmouth in a 12:00 noon game on Saturday, September 25. 

Pictured: Abigail Taft '12. Photo by DSPics.net.