ALBANY - Led by a two-goal performance from junior Krista Johnstone (Dover, N.H.)¸the Bryant University women's soccer team edged the University at Albany, 2-1, on Sunday afternoon at Varsity Field in its final non-conference match of the season. The Bulldogs improve to 5-4-3, while the Great Danes move to 2-9 on the year.
Both teams saw all the scoring action occur in the first half, as both of Johnstone's markers came within the span of a minute, while Albany got on the scoreboard off a penalty kick in the 31st minute. Junior netminder Kelsi Jacob (Mahwah, N.J.) recorded eight saves for her third victory of the season, matching a previous season-high set against Massachusetts on Sept. 4, while Jacky Ubert registered seven saves in the loss for the Great Danes.
Johnstone set the pace of the game early on with back-to-back strikes in a 30-second span, putting Albany in a 2-0 hole in the blink of an eye. First, freshman Emily Barbato (Sutton, Mass.) set up the junior forward for a big blast that was redirected off a Great Danes defender and into the back of the net at 17:59, putting the Bulldogs up 1-0.
Just 22 seconds later, Johnstone tickled the twine again, as sophomore defender Alyssa Kozlowski (Ellicott City, Md.) sent in a long cross from 30 yards out and into the box, where Johnstone deposited the ball into the top corner of the net. She would finish the match with a game-high five shot attempts, matching previous career highs in both goals in a game and total shots, which she had originally set against Fairleigh Dickinson on Oct. 1, 2010.
After the Bulldogs were flagged for a foul in box, Rebecca Lee was able to convert on a penalty kick for the Great Danes, pulling the home team within reach. But after Maggie DeVerna was issued a red card in the 43rd minute, Albany was forced to play a man down for the remainder of the game, limiting its opportunities to net the equalizer.
Bryant tightened up on the defensive end in the second frame, keeping Albany off the board while turning aside each of their seven shot attempts as Jacob denied four shots on target. The Great Danes held a 15-11 advantage in shots on the game, with seven placed on net.
The Black and Gold amassed 14 fouls on the day, tying a season-high set on two other occasions. They also led in corner kicks, posting a 5-2 lead over the game.
Bryant will return to conference play on Friday, Oct. 7, traveling to Brooklyn, N.Y. for a date against Long Island University. The Black and Gold return home to face Sacred Heart on Sunday, Oct. 9 at 3 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium.