SMITHFIELD, R.I. – In an epic battle that took a shootout to determine a winner, freshman Erin Karcher (Kennett Square, Pa.) put home the game-winner in strokes to lift the Bryant University field hockey team to a huge victory over Rider, Friday night at the Bryant Turf Complex.
Sitting all knotted at 1-1 after 100 minutes of gameplay, the two MAAC leaders went to strokes to determine a victor. After a pair of misses by both squads, Bryant's Mallory Hancock (Skowhegan, Maine) stepped up to put her team up 1-0 in the shootout. After another Rider miss, junior Abigail Armstrong (Mahopac, N.Y.) put away a stroke of her own to grant Bryant the 2-0 lead with just to shooters left for the Broncs. Shooting fourth for Rider, Dezarae Fillmyer cut the Bryant lead in half, just before Karcher put home the game-winner, propelling the Bulldogs to the epic victory.
In regulation, junior Rosie Bird (Hamilton, New Zealand) broke a scoreless tie with her 12th marker of the season at the 60:34 mark off a beautiful assist from Mallory Hancock. With time ticking down and a Bulldog win almost imminent, Rider's Alicia Govannicci fired a blast from just inside the circle with only four seconds remaining on the clock to push the contest into extra time.
In overtime, both teams had multiple chances to end it, but absolutely incredible play by both squads, particularly goalkeepers Megan Hancock (Skowhegan, Maine) and Joelle Prettyman, kept the score tied at 1-1. Megan Hancock registered nine saves in the victory, while Prettyman topped four Bryant chances.
The huge win for the Bulldogs puts them tied for first in the MAAC standings with another huge test for Bryant on Sunday when Monmouth visits Smithfield (12 p.m.)
For all the latest news on the Bryant University field hockey team, visit BryantBulldogs.com.