Bears Defeat Cross-Town Rival Providence, 2-1, in Penalty Strokes

Bears Defeat Cross-Town Rival Providence, 2-1, in Penalty Strokes

Post-Game thoughts from Laura Iacovetti '12 available here.
Video of Brown's penalty strokes available here.

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Brown field hockey team (3-10) battled cross-town rival Providence College (4-12) down to the wire and came away with a thrilling 2-1 victory over the Friars in penalty strokes. As darkness settled over Warner Roof Wednesday evening, the first four Bears up scored on their strokes, while the Friars had two of their five shooters miss, as Brown earned its third victory of the season.

Scoring for the Bears in strokes were senior Katie Hyland (Riegelsville, PA), senior Cassie Puhalla (Forty Fort, PA), senior Tacy Zysk (Walpole, MA), and junior Leslie Springmeyer (New Vernon, NJ), whose shot to the left side clinched the victory for Brown.

The two teams were even through the first two shooters for both sides, as Nicole Fernandez and Julie Ruggieri scored for PC with Hyland and Puhalla answering each Providence goal for the Bears. After Christine Sideris missed the cage wide left, Zysk nailed her shot to the left side to give Brown a 3-2 lead. Jaime Lipski tied the score for the Friars at 3-3, before Springmeyer gave Brown a 4-3 lead. PC's last shooter in the first round, Kasey Bulman, set up and was looking for the top left corner, but her shot was wide left, sailing off the roof to give Brown the victory.

The two teams played a physical game from the outset with three green cards being issued in the contest. The Bears came out with intensity and after Brittany Ross saw her shot get blocked by the Brown defense less than a minute in, the Bears controlled the play, earning four shots to PC's none over the next five minutes and quickly taking a 1-0 lead.

Stationed on the left side of the circle, Zysk collected the ball off a rebound and sent it back on cage, beating Kathi Weidman with a shot to the far corner for her fourth goal of the year.

Following the goal, Providence pressured relentlessly, outshooting Brown, 8-0, during the rest of the half. Junior Lauren Kessler (Burtonsville, MD) stopped both shots she faced, while junior Laura Iacovetti (Blue Bell, PA) recorded a defensive save in the 27th minute to help Brown hold onto the lead well into the second half.

Providence held a slight, 13-8, advantage in shots during the final 35 minutes of regulation, and finally broke through for the tying goal at 63:25 when Fernandez picked up the rebound of her own shot and knocked it past Kessler to force overtime.

Though PC appeared to have handily controled the two overtime periods, both teams had chances to win it before the game reached penalty strokes. Brown's best chance game just 3:22 into the first overtime. On a penalty corner, Hyland fired a rocket to the right side that had Shannon DiStefano beat, but the ball clanged off the post.  

PC outshot Brown, 9-0, in the final 15 minutes and earned five penalty corners, including one with one second remaining. But, Kessler made three saves and the Bears quickly cleared the final corner to force penalty strokes.

In all, Kessler finished with 13 saves, while junior Bridget McNamara (Bethesda, MD) had a defensive save in the second half in addition to Iacovetti's first-half defensive save. Wiedman (1GA, 0 saves) and DiStefano (0GA, 3 saves) split halves in the Providence net with DiStefano playing the entire overtime. Wiedman returned to the net for the penalty strokes.

Brown returns to action this Saturday, October 23rd, when it hosts Ivy rival Cornell in a 12:00 noon game.  

Pictured: Tacy Zysk '11. Photo by