SMITHFIELD, RI – The Bryant field hockey team (2-5) broke open a 0-0 game with a pair of goals three minutes apart in the second half, both scored with the Bulldogs enjoying a player advantage, en route to a 2-0 victory over Brown (2-2) on Friday evening.
The game-winning goal came on Bryant's fifth corner of the second half, at 50:22, when Olivia Jankins took a pass from Kayleigh Ballantyne and fired a shot through traffic that beat sophomore Shannon McSweeney (Boxborough, MA) to the left post. Less than four minutes later, at 53:49, Bryant converted on its sixth corner of the half, when Mallory Hancock sent a pass to the back door that Abigail Armstrong deflected into the net for the 2-0 lead.
The strong goaltending of Bryant's Megan Hancock also proved to be critical to the Bulldogs' win, as she stopped all seven shots she faced in the first half to keep her team in the game. The Bears outshot their hosts, 7-4, during the opening 35 minutes and had several close chances thwarted by the Bryant defense.
Hancock made a series of stops towards the middle of the opening half, including a big save on a shot by sophomore Haley Alvarez (Martinsville, NJ). Less than 10 minutes later, Hancock stopped three Brown shots in a span of 15 seconds to keep the game scoreless.
With the game still tied at 0-0 early in the second, sophomore Meghan O'Donnell (Winchester, MA) had a great opportunity to give Brown the lead. Freshman Hannah Rogers (Los Altos, CA) hit O'Donnell, in the middle of the field, with a leading pass, springing O'Donnell on a breakaway. Hancock came out of the cage and kicked O'Donnell's shot away, keeping the game scoreless. That save would prove to be a pivotal moment of the game, as the Bulldogs scored the decisive goal just 10 minutes later.
Following the second goal, the Bears continued to fight, generating two penalty corners in the final 15 minutes. However, they could not get the ball past Hancock and the rest of the Bryant defense, settling for the 2-0 loss.
For the game, O'Donnell led the Bears with four shots, while Alvarez had three. McSweeney finished with three saves.
Brown continues action on Sunday, September 16, when it hosts Columbia in its 2012 Ivy opener. Game time is set for 1:00 p.m. on the Bears' new field.
Pictured: Meghan O'Donnell '15. Photo by DSPics.net.