April 14, 2011

Bryant Stroms Back in Second Half to Win

from press release

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Nine second-half goals and a pair of hat tricks propelled the Bryant University women's lacrosse team to a 13-9 win over Northeast Conference rival Central Connecticut, overcoming a three-goal halftime deficit for the team's third-straight win and first winning streak of the season in Thursday night's home finale at the Bryant Turf Complex.

Three goals apiece from junior Lauren Sheridan (Bethpage, N.Y.) and rookie Haley Bloom (Hauppauge, N.Y.), four of which came in the second frame, led the Bulldogs (6-8, 5-2 NEC) to the come-from-behind victory, as the home side outscored the visiting Blue Devils (6-8, 1-6) by a 9-2 margin after the break.

Despite scoring the first goal of the contest on an unassisted Mary Green (Merrick, N.Y.) tally, the Bulldogs didn't maintain control for long as CCSU would outmatch the Black and Gold, 5-1, over a 10-minute stretch for a 5-2 score midway through the opening stanza.

The teams would trade goals twice in the remaining 15 minutes of the first period, with both Bryant scores coming off the stick of Bloom, to keep the margin at three entering the intermission, 7-4.

But the Bulldogs netted two quick tallies out of halftime, started by Bloom's completion of her natural hat trick just 35 seconds in, to draw within one, 7-6, with plenty of time left on the clock to start the swing of momentum back to the home sideline.

Central's Betsy Vendel, the older sister of Bryant rookie Lisa Vendel (Sandy Hook, Conn.), collected her second goal and third point of the contest at the 21:10 mark with an unassisted tally to restore a two-goal edge for the visitors, but an Olivia McCarthy (Sea Girt, N.J.) free position goal moved the score back to one, 8-7, just 14 seconds later.

Amanda Toke – assisted by the elder Vendel – would be the next Blue Devil to up CCSU's lead with just over 17 minutes to play in the contest, but she would also be the last, as the Bulldogs took a stranglehold on the flow and momentum of the game for a spurt of six unanswered goals over the closing 13 minutes, climbing out of their hole and building a four-tally advantage by the final whistle.

Sophomore Emily Bogan (Swansea, Mass.) kicked off the closing run with her fifth goal of the season, unassisted, making one of the prettiest plays of the day when she picked up the ground ball for a quick one-timer after CCSU goalie Erin DeLancey made the stop but couldn't control the rebound on a Kimberley Sniffen (Redding, Conn.) free position shot. The goal cut Bryant's deficit to one, 9-8, and solidified the Bulldogs' control over the game before back-to-back scores by both Sheridan and Vendel and a final third tally from Sheridan closed out the scoring for the 13-9 victory.

All 13 of Bryant's goals came unassisted as the Bulldogs outshot the Blue Devils, 32-27, on the evening. The Black and Gold combined for 19 ground balls to the visitors' 10, as Bogan picked up a game-best four. Vendel, who fired a game-high seven shots in the sisterly showdown, picked up three ground balls of her own with a trio of draw controls and one caused turnover. Each team would record seven caused turnovers on the night as Central Connecticut gave the ball away 16 times to Bryant's 14.

Between the pipes, junior Lauren Filippone (West Babylon, N.Y.) made 10 stops to help spur Bryant's comeback, holding the visitors to just a single tally on seven free position attempts. DeLancey made nine stops in net for CCSU.

The Bulldogs complete the home segment of their 2011 season with the win and will return to the road for two final contests, next taking on Wagner in Staten Island, N.Y. on April 21 (4 p.m.).

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