Bears Dominate New Hampshire in Season Opener, 3-2
Sept. 1, 2006
PROVIDENCE, RI - The Brown University women's soccer team (1-0-0) opened its 2006 season with 3-2 win over the University of New Hampshire (1-1-0), dominating the flow of the game, while avenging last year's 1-0 double overtime loss to the Wildcats. Freshman Bridget Ballard (Los Angeles, CA) helped lead the Bears to the victory with the game-winning goal and an assist in her collegiate debut.
The Bears wasted little time in setting the tone for the game, taking a 1-0 lead just 1:09 into the contest on their first shot of the night. Senior Jill Mansfield (East Windsor, NJ) used one of her crowd-pleasing flip throw-ins to serve the ball into the box, where sophomore Lindsay Cunningham (Cumberland, RI) jumped into the air, and headed the ball into the opposite corner of the net for the early lead.
The Wildcats' first scoring opportunity came in the 15th minute, and they took advantage of a Brown foul inside the box, converting on the ensuing penalty kick to tie the game at 1-1. Less than 10 minutes later, at 23:28, UNH took a 2-1 lead on a Sara Hourihan goal. Michelle Sheehan beat Brown freshman goalie Brenna Hogue (Concord, CA) to a lose ball just outside the box, and with Hogue still on the ground, Sheehan crossed to Hourihan, who calmly placed the ball into the open net.
Brown would not quit, and was rewarded 12 minutes later, at 35:14, when senior Mica Bayard (Princeton, MA) scored her first collegiate goal. After an initial attempt to score off a Mansfield throw-in failed, Ballard sent the ball back out to Mansfield on the right wing. Mansfield took one dribble and served the ball back into the box, where Bayard headed it into the back of the net, tying the game at 2-2.
The two teams opened the second half still in a 2-2 deadlock, but Ballard's first career goal with 13:16 remaining would prove to be the difference in the game. Junior Kerrilynn Carney (North Smithfield, RI) served a corner kick into the box, where Ballard used her 5-11 height to her advantage, getting to the ball in time to head it past the UNH keeper and into the back of the net.
The Wildcats' offense put together a late rush, but junior Julia Shapira (Los Angeles, CA) made a great defensive play to preserve the Brown victory in the final minutes.
The Bears held a 22-10 advantage in shots and a 5-3 margin in corner kicks, including four in the second half.
Hogue recorded two saves to earn her first career win, while Lynn Gugliuzza stopped eight shots in net for UNH. The Bears continue their season-opening homestand on Sunday afternoon when they host Buffalo at 1:00 p.m.