PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Brown field hockey team suffered a 4-3 non-conference loss to Bryant University in its home opener when Bulldogs junior Rosie Bird smacked the go-ahead goal into the back of the cage with 32 seconds to play. Bird's two second-half goals secured her a hat trick and propelled the visitors to victory and erase the Bears' one-goal lead. Brown falls to 0-1 on the season while Bryant improves to 2-1 overall.
For Brown, junior Meghan O'Donnell (Winchester, Mass.) scored a game-tying goal in the second half and added an assist, while sophomores Alexis Miller (Caldwell, N.J.) and Hannah Rogers (Los Altos, Calif.) each registered a goal. Senior Avery Burns (Millersville, Md.) and junior Clayton Christus (Bernardsville, N.J.) both chipped in assists, and junior goalie Shannon McSweeney (Boxborough, Mass.) made six saves in the setback.
Bird's trio of goals bumped her team-leading total to six goals on the season, and Olivia Jankins potted a goal in the first half to round out the Bryant scoring. Mallory Hancock assisted on both of Bird's second half markers to flip a 3-2 Brown lead into a 4-3 Bulldog triumph. Megan Hancock stopped six shots in her second straight win.
Bird got the Bulldogs on the board 23 minutes into the contest, but Miller answered eight minutes later on a feed from O'Donnell to knot the score at 1-1. Jankins had a quick counter move for the visitors, however, and an unassisted goal with just six seconds left in the first half gave Bryant a 2-1 advantage after 35 minutes of play.
The two squads battled through over 20 minutes of scoreless field hockey after the opening whistle of the second half, but O'Donnell pushed the equalizer past Hancock to tie the game at 2-2 at the 55:17 mark. Rogers then wasted no time shifting the lead to the home side and pushed in the go-ahead goal on an assist by Christus at 56:53.
Facing a one-goal deficit with six and a half minutes left to play, Bird took matters into her own hands and rattled off back-to-back goals, one at 63:31 and the other with just 32 seconds left on the clock. The Bears called for a timeout to discuss last-second strategy, but could not mount a final goal to tie it up before time expired.
The Bears return to action on Sunday with a non-league contest against Rider at 12 p.m.