SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University women's soccer team notched its first victory of the season on Friday, downing Manhattan College 1-0 at Bulldog Stadium.
After an onslaught of scoring chances throughout the first half, senior midfielder Stephanie Morse (Warwick, R.I.) headed home a corner set up by sophomore midfielder Ari Goldberg (East Bridgewater, Mass.), and that was the only scoring the Bulldogs (1-1-1) would need to defeat the Jaspers (0-2-0).
Goldberg, who had taken the majority of the team's 11 corner kicks on the afternoon, struck the ball from the far side of the field, where it found a perfectly placed Morse, who deflected it off the side of her head and past Manhattan netminder Kara Davis (Redding, Conn.) for the winning tally.
The Black and Gold kept its opponent at bay for virtually the entire game, registering an astounding 37 total shot attempts – including 18 on net – compared to Manhattan's seven total shots taken. Bryant attempted 23 shots in the first half alone, during which it nearly found the back of the net twice, but the Jaspers received a tremendous effort out of Davis, who finished the game with 17 saves.
Senior striker Kaitlyn Hinck (Bow, N.H.) had a golden chance to put the Bulldogs up at the 33rd minute, when she sent a header on net from inside the six-yard box, but hit the crossbar. Moments later, the Bulldogs reeled off a flurry of chances, nearly finding the back of the net after freshman forward Emily Barbato (Sutton, Mass.) took an initial shot from the top of the 18-yard box that rang off the crossbar. Both Hinck and sophomore forward Shana Follette (Plymouth, Mass.) got a foot on the ball, but Davis turned each shot aside.
The Bulldogs again appeared to take an early lead after junior striker Krista Johnstone (Dover, N.H.) put home a rebound that bounced off the crossbar, but she was ruled offsides on the play.
In the opening minutes of the second half, Hinck blasted a wide-open chance from the near side of the pitch, but again hit the crossbar. The next chance came on Morse's game-winner, when the Bulldogs finally caught a break off the corner kick.
Manhattan reeled off a pair of chances late in the game, but Bryant goalkeeper Lauren Viverito (Dayton Park, N.J.) made a key save to keep the Jaspers off the board. The sophomore garnered two saves to pick up the victory, improving to 1-0-1 on the season after coming into the game for the second half. Junior netminder Kelsi Jacob (Mahwah, N.J.) started the game for the Bulldogs, recording one save on the day.
The Black and Gold will return to the pitch on Sunday, Sept. 4, when they travel to the University of Massachusetts to take on the Minutewomen. Game time is set for 1 p.m.