October 8, 2011

Bears Battle Back from Early 1-0 Deficit to Post 2-1 Win over Princeton

PROVIDENCE, RI – Sophomore Maddie Wiener (Portland, OR) and senior Sarah Hebert-Seropian (Vaudreuil-Dorion, QUE) scored back-to-back goals just 12 minutes apart to help the Brown women's soccer team (7-3-1, 2-1-0) erase an early 1-0 deficit and earn a 2-1 win over Princeton (1-8-1, 0-3-0) on Saturday afternoon at Stevenson Field. It marks Brown first win over the Tigers since a 4-0 victory in 2006.

In search of their first Ivy win of the season and their first victory dating back to a 2-1 win over Villanova on September 11, the visiting Tigers wasted little time in grabbing a 1-0 lead. Just 4:15 into the game, Lauren Lazo took a hard shot from the left side that got through traffic in front and forced sophomore goalie Amber Bledsoe (Cincinnati, OH) to make a diving save. However, Bledsoe was unable to control the ball and the rebound bounced right out to the right side of the box, where leading scorer Jen Hoy was able to lift it over Bledsoe before she could recover, giving Princeton a 1-0 lead at 4:18.

The Tigers continued to press Brown's defense during the early going, earning two corner kicks and two more shots, before Brown could take its first shot.

However, a Princeton foul just shy of the 50 on the Bears' side of the field in the 12th minute of play set up one of the prettiest goals this season at Stevenson Field. Junior Diana Ohrt (Simi Valley, CA) stepped up to take the free kick and sent a diagonal ball to senior Marybeth Lesbirel (Holmdel, NJ) on the right, who volleyed a cross back towards the box, where it was met on the left side by Wiener, who one-timed the ball past Kristin Watson to the right corner at 12:22.

Wiener was instrumental in setting up what would prove to be the game-winning goal, as she was taken down by a Princeton defender in the box less than 12 minutes later, setting up a penalty kick, Brown's first of the season. Hebert-Seropian calmly stepped in to take the penalty kick and hit the center of the goal, over the outstretched arms of Watson, giving Brown a 2-1 lead at the 24:16 mark.

The Tigers would outshoot Brown, 12-4, during the first half, and Bledsoe helped to preserve the lead with five saves in the opening 45 minutes.

Princeton continued to attack throughout the second half, building a 20-9 advantage in shots on goal for the game, as sophomore MC Barrett (Ithaca, NY) made three saves in the final 45 minutes to help Brown hold onto the win. The play of the Bears' four defenders was also critical, as all four – seniors Gloria Chun (Irvine, CA), Allison Kagawa (Mililani, HI), and Joanna Price (San Juan Capistrano, CA), and Ohrt continually broke up Princeton runs up the wings.

The Tigers also had 10 corner kicks to Brown's four, including a 7-1 margin in the second half, while Brown was whistled for 19 fouls to Princeton's 14 in what was a physical battle from the opening whistle. Watson made three saves for the Tigers.  

With the win, Brown moves into a three-way tie for second place in the Ivy League standings with Penn and Columbia. Either Dartmouth or Yale, who both stand at 1-1, could join the trio following the outcome of their game this evening.

Brown continues action on Wednesday, October 12, when it hosts Francis Marion in a 4:00 p.m. non-league game. It is the final home game before a stretch of three straight on the road, as the Bears will visit Harvard, Holy Cross, and Cornell.

Pictured: Sarah Herbert-Seropian '12. Photo by DSPics.net.