BROOKLYN, N.Y. – The Bryant University women's soccer team fell to Long Island University, 4-1, on Friday evening in Brooklyn, N.Y. The Bulldogs move back to an even 5-5-3 on the season, while falling to 1-2-1 in Northeast Conference play, as the Blackbirds improve to 5-7 with a 2-2 record in conference play.
Scoring chances came early and often for both teams, but the Blackbirds converted first. LIU did not wait long to strike, as Ariana Calderon sent in a cross from the right corner, where Jen Spicer was waiting in front of the net for a goal just 69 seconds into regulation to put the Blackbirds up 1-0.
Nearly six minutes later, Calderon found herself on a breakaway after beating three defenders, weaving her way through the backline and scoring at 7:52 to put the home team up, 2-0. But not even two minutes after that, the Bulldogs breathed some life of their own as midfielder Ari Goldberg (East Bridgewater, Mass.) made it a one-goal game with her second marker of the season at 9:42. The sophomore took a pass from junior defender Kaitlyn Fare (Millstone Township, N.J.) and put it home to make it a 2-1 LIU lead.
But just two minutes later, it was Calderon again, as she took a pass from Ruby Leon on the right side of the eighteen and banked one off the post and in to give the Blackbirds another two-goal cushion.
Both teams would exchange scoring chances through the next 20 minutes of play, as LIU reeled off three shots that were denied by junior goalkeeper Kelsi Jacob (Mahwah, N.J.), who came into the game in place of sophomore Lauren Viverito (Dayton Park, N.J.) in the 16th minute, and finished the day with four saves.
Bryant then notched a couple of shots in the 29th minute, as Carolyn Guiliano (Wethersfield, Conn.) put one on goal, but Blackbird goalkeeper Jessica Sexton came up with one of her two saves in the first half.
In the 35th minute, LIU was awarded a corner kick, as Calderon played it into Spicer, who put it on net from 20 yards out and watched it go in for her second marker of the game, giving the Blackbirds a 4-1 lead that would prove to be insurmountable.
After getting outshot 9-5 in the first stanza, Bryant saw a number of opportunities to cut away at the Blackbirds' lead, holding a 7-5 advantage in shot attempts while putting four on target in the second frame, but Jennifer Bannon turned each shot aside after coming into the game for Sexton after halftime.
In total, LIU edged Bryant in total shots by a 14-12 margin, while also holding a 4-1 lead in corner kicks. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, were whistled three more times on the day, racking up an 11-8 lead in fouls.
The Bulldogs return home on Sunday, Oct. 9, continuing conference play against Sacred Heart at Bulldog Stadium, with game time slated for 3 p.m. following the men's soccer game against Monmouth. The Black and Gold will be welcoming the Sutton (Mass.) Youth Girls' Soccer Team before the game, where freshman Emily Barbato (Sutton, Mass.) began her playing days in her younger years.