Women's soccer battles Holy Cross tonight

COACH FLINT PREVIEWS TONIGHT'S GAME AND LOOKS BACK ON THE NAVY INVITATIONAL

 

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University women's soccer team will travel to Worcester, Mass., for a midweek tilt against Holy Cross on Wednesday (Sept. 14) evening.  Game time is set for 7 p.m.

The Bulldogs (3-2-1) most recently participated in the Navy Invitational on Sept. 9-11, where they split a pair of games, falling to host Navy, 5-2, before edging George Washington, 1-0.  The Crusaders (1-4) fell to Fairfield, 1-0, in the second round of the Fairfield Classic on Sept. 11.  In that two-game tournament, Holy Cross also picked up its first victory of the season, a 2-0 win against Northeast Conference foe Central Connecticut State.

The two programs have met just once since Bryant began its transition into Division I – during the 2010 season, when the Bulldogs rallied with two goals in the second half en route to a 2-2 draw against the Crusaders on Sept. 15, 2010 in Smithfield.  Down 2-0, Current junior Krista Johnstone (Dover, N.H.) got Bryant on the board in the 79th minute of that game before current sophomore Ari Goldberg (East Bridgewater, Mass.) tied the game in dramatic fashion, converting off a set piece with less than three minutes to go in regulation.

After falling in last Friday's Navy Invitational opener, the Black and Gold took home a one-goal victory in Washington, D.C. last Sunday.  Reigning adidas/NEC Rookie of the Week Suzanne Sanders (West Chester, Pa.) found the back of the net at 27:25, netting her second goal of the season in as many games, and that would account for all of the game's offense.  Kelsi Jacob (Mahwah, N.J.) notched three saves for the shutout victory, improving to 2-1-0 between the pipes on the season.  Bryant was outshot 16-12 in regulation, but the backline limited the Colonials to just three shots on target.

The Crusaders enter Wednesday evening's affair having dropped one-goal decisions in three of their four losses this season, including their most recent contest against Fairfield.  Freshman goalkeeper Carly McCabe has started two straight games for Holy Cross, during which she has amassed 21 saves while giving up just one marker.  On the season, she holds a goals-against average of 0.67, while sporting a record of 1-2-0.  Gina Righini and Liz Early are the only Crusaders who have found the back of the net on offense, each recording a goal apiece during the team's 2-0 victory against CCSU in the opening round of the Fairfield Classic.

Bryant has remarkably scored the first goal of the game in 5-of-6 contests this season, and during that span the team has gone 3-1-1.  The Bulldogs are averaging an impressive 1.67 goals per game, with Sanders and senior Kaitlyn Hinck (Bow, N.H.) tied atop the stat sheet with five points on two goals and an assist apiece.  Jacob and sophomore Lauren Viverito (Dayton Park, N.J.) have shared the netminding duties through six games.  Both New Jersey natives have been impressive, with Jacob posting one shutout to go with a 1.56 GAA and a 7.14 SV%, while Viverito (1-1-1) has yielded 2.11 goals per game.

The Black and Gold have reeled off 18.7 shots per game, with over half of those shots being on target (.509 SOG pct.).  The Bulldogs also hold a 32-23 corner kicks advantage on the year, while out-fouling their opponents 62-53.

After today's contest, Bryant will return home for its first battle in Smithfield in over two weeks on Sunday, Sept. 18, when it welcomes the University of New Hampshire to Bulldog Stadium.  Game time is set for 1 p.m.

For continuing coverage of Bryant women's soccer, check back at www.bryantbulldogs.com, and follow the Bulldogs on Twitter @BryantAthletics.

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