PROVIDENCE, RI – Sophomores Kiersten Berg (Salt Lake City, UT) and Alison Mullin (Lafayette, CO) scored goals late in the first half and early in the second to help the Brown women's soccer team (4-1-1) erase a 2-0 deficit, but Sacred Heart (4-2-2) would answer with the game-winning goal less than five minutes later and then hold on for the 3-2 win on Sunday afternoon at Stevenson Field.
The two teams were scoreless through nearly the first 20 minutes of the contest with both teams earning quality chances to score the game's first goal. Amanda Stiles nearly put the visitors ahead at the 11-minute mark when she collected the ball off a cross at the left post and shot to the far corner, but sophomore Amber Bledsoe (Cincinnati, OH) dove to her left and corralled the ball to keep the game scoreless.
Just a minute later, senior Sarah Hebert-Seropian (Vaudreuil-Dorion, QUE) had a chance to put Brown ahead firing a hard shot from the top of the box that was headed for the right corner, but Sacred Heart goalie Talia Schwartz made a diving save, stopping the ball with her hands. Mullin collected the rebound and was able to get a shot off, but it hit the outside of the net, as the score remained knotted at zero through the first 12 minutes of play.
Brown utilized the momentum from Hebert-Seropian's near miss and continued to press in the attacking end, but it would be Sacred Heart that would score the game's first goal on a penalty kick by Stiles.
Brown nearly tied the score at 1-1 with just under 17 minutes left in the half, but sophomore Maddie Wiener's (Portland, OR) attempt from the center of the box went wide right, as the Bears were kept off the board.
The Pioneers doubled their lead in the 33rd minute when Lucy Gildein raced in towards the box and beat Bledsoe to the ball, before chipping it over Bledsoe and towards the net. The ball bounced off the left post, before ending up in the back of the net.
The Bears finally broke through with 8:25 left before the end of the first half, when Berg scored her third goal of the year. After collecting the ball from Hebert-Seropian in the midfield, Berg got around her defender at the top of the box and forced Schwartz out of the net, before firing the ball to the right corner to bring Brown to within a goal.
Trailing, 2-1, to open the second half, Brown made some adjustments on the field, and almost immediately tied the score. After earning a corner kick less than three minutes into the frame, freshman Chloe Cross (Seattle, WA), sent a perfect ball into the box, where Mullin was able to head it past Schwartz for her first career goal at the 47:48 mark, tying the score at 2-2.
However, no sooner had the Bears tied the score than Sacred Heart regained the lead. After a Brown foul roughly 65 yards from the Sacred Heart goal, Heather Quevillion sent her first kick into the box. The ball bounced right to Stiles, who redirected it to the right corner, past sophomore MC Barrett (Ithaca, NY).
Brown had a few chances to tie the score during the remaining 37 minutes, the best of which was a free kick by Hebert-Seropian with 6:30 left to play. However, her shot from about 30 yards out sailed high of the net, as the Bears dropped their first game of the season.
In all, the Bears outshot the Pioneers, 14-10, and earned five corner kicks to Sacred Heart's two. Bledsoe recorded two saves in the first half, while Barrett made one save in the second. Schwartz stopped four shots for the Pioneers.
Brown returns to action on Thursday afternoon when it travels to Amherst, MA to face the University of Massachusetts in a 4:00 p.m. match.
Pictured: Alison Mullin '14 scored her first career goal against Sacred Heart. Photo by DSPics.net.