SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University women's soccer team will welcome Rider University to Smithfield on Friday (Aug. 26) afternoon for its home opener at Bulldog Stadium. Game time is set for 3:30 p.m.
The Bulldogs (0-0-1) will look to stay unbeaten on the season after settling for a 2-2 draw against Providence in their season opener on Aug. 21. The Broncs (0-1-1) are also looking for their first win of the season, having most recently tied Fairleigh Dickinson on the road after opening the 2011 campaign with a 1-0 overtime loss at home against Mount St. Mary's.
In last Sunday's game, Bryant raced out to a 2-0 first half lead on goals from senior forward Kaitlyn Hinck (Bow, N.H.) and junior midfielder Regan Marin (Bedford, N.Y.). In the game's fourth minute, Hinck received a pass at the top of the six-yard box from reigning adidas/Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week Suzanne Sanders (West Chester, Pa.) and buried it for the game's first marker. In the waning minutes of the half, Marin redirected a through ball from senior midfielder Stephanie Morse (Warwick, R.I.) to double the visitors' lead heading into the locker room. But the Friars would notch two second-half tallies, including the tying goal with 45 seconds remaining in regulation, to send the game into overtime, where neither team would find the back of the net.
The Broncs, meanwhile, are coming off a Monday night draw against FDU that saw them hold a 25-6 shot advantage, but were stonewalled by the Knights' netminder Sage Dovale, who recorded 11 saves on the evening. Junior Abi Cottam (Leominster, England) registered a game-high seven shots, but was unable to convert. Cottam is the team's lead returning scorer, totaling 21 points (8g, 5a) during the 2010 season.
While Rider boasts a powerful scoring front, it has turned to a pair of new faces to anchor the goaltending duties after losing Alex Post – who started all of the Broncs' 19 games last year – to graduation. Freshman Danielle Singson (Deer Park, N.Y.) started Monday night's game, recording one save. Junior Jenn Nichols (Stratham, N.H.) entered the game in the second half and remained in net through both overtimes, collecting two saves to preserve the scoreless tie.
After tomorrow's contest, the Bulldogs will host Manhattan on Friday, Sept. 2 at 1 p.m. Please note that the Bulldogs were originally scheduled to host Manhattan this Sunday (Aug. 28), but due to the impending weather from Hurricane Irene the game has been pushed back. For continuing coverage of Bryant University women's soccer, check back at BryantBulldogs.com, and follow Bryant Athletics on Twitter @BryantAthletics.