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Bulldogs top River Hawks, 2-1, Fri. in home opener

Photo by David Silverman
Photo by David Silverman

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Thanks to a three-point performance from senior forward Rosie Bird (Hamilton, New Zealand), the Bryant University field hockey team picked up its first win of the 2014 season, topping UMass Lowell, 2-1, Friday night at the Bryant Turf Complex.

In a well-played game in the midfield, the Bulldogs (1-4) took advantage of their few scoring opportunities, thwarting a tenacious River Hawk (2-3) attack when they needed it most.

Senior Abigail Armstrong (Mahopac, N.Y.) got things going for the Bulldogs in the first half when a strike from the top of the circle set Bird up perfectly for the tip-in goal, granting Bryant the early 1-0 lead less than 16 minutes into the contest.

The Black and Gold struck again less than two minutes later when Bird fired a shot point blank in front of the UMass goal that was quickly turned away by Kelsey Federico only to be scooped up and put in by sophomore Victoria Danby (Lancaster, Mass.). Danby's second-career marker and second this season gave Bryant its first 2-0 lead of the year, as the contest headed into the halftime break.

In the second half, back-and-forth play did not allow either team many quality scoring chances with each squad only getting off three shots in the period. However, the best scoring opportunity for the River Hawks came at the 67:03 mark when Christa Doiron fired a shot towards the net setting up Fiona Fitzgerald for the tip-in, cutting the Bulldog lead in half, 2-1.

Fitzgerald narrowly converted the equalizer moments later, however the shot was disallowed, securing the 2-1 Bryant victory.

Senior goalkeeper Megan Hancock (Skowhegan, Maine) made four saves between the pipes for the Black and Gold, while Federico stopped three Bryant chances.

The Bulldogs will look to make it a perfect 2-0 Homecoming Weekend on Sunday when they welcome Saint Louis to Smithfield for a 12 p.m. tilt.

For links to live stats and streaming video of Sunday's action and all the latest news on the Bryant University field hockey team, visit BryantBulldogs.com.