Bears defeat Tigers, move to 2-1 in Ivy

Sports Staff Writer
Monday, October 10, 2011

The women’s soccer team defeated Princeton for the first time in five years Saturday after back-to-back goals erased an early deficit. The Tigers (1-8-1, 0-3-0 Ivy) had over twice as many shots on goal as the Bears (7-3-1, 2-1-0) but only breached Bruno’s back line once.

Maddie Wiener ’14 and Captain Sarah Hebert-Seropian ’12 each scored their second goals of the season within a 12-minute period to claim the lead in the first half.  Stellar play from center backs Diana Ohrt ’13 and Joanna Price ’12 kept the Princeton attack at bay for the rest of the game, and solid goalkeeping from MC Barrett ’14 prevented a Tiger comeback.

“I was excited that we came back after giving up an early goal,” said Head Coach Phil Pincince. “I thought it was a great effort in the first half to score two and be up 2-1 at halftime, and I really thought defensively we hung together in that whole second half.”

“We did the little things that mattered to come out with the win,” Hebert-Seropian said. “This was a big win, and I think we are all thrilled.”

The Tigers capitalized on their first opportunity of the game just four minutes after the opening whistle. Brown keeper Amber Bledsoe ’14 was forced to make a diving save off of a driven shot, but her parry fell to the feet of Princeton leading scorer Jen Hoy, who slotted home the rebound to give her team the early 1-0 advantage.

But Bruno responded and found an answer only eight minutes later. After a foul just inside the Bears’ half, Ohrt hit the resulting free kick out wide to winger Marybeth Lesbirel ’12. Lesbirel hit the ball on the volley into the middle, where Wiener first-timed the cross into the right corner of the net for the equalizer.

Bruno kept attacking and snatched the lead just 12 minutes later, again through the play of Wiener. The pacey forward earned a penalty kick after she beat her defender and was dragged down in the box. Hebert-Seropian stepped up and placed the shot in the center over the keeper’s head to put Bruno ahead.

“We had great movement up top,” Hebert-Seropian said. “That was good for us, to have the lead in the first half for once.”

Despite seven more shots from Princeton in the remainder of the period, the Bears maintained their 2-1 advantage heading into halftime.

The Tigers got off to a roaring start once again in the second half, applying constant pressure to the Bears’ back line. But Bruno held fast and withstood a frantic six-minute period that included four corner kicks and three attempts on goal. Bruno’s defensive unit held the Tigers for the remainder of the game, despite being outshot 20-9.

“I thought our goalkeepers did the job again,” Pincince said. “And I thought the whole back four was — as they have been all year — phenomenal.”

Bruno will face Francis Marion University (3-9-1) tomorrow at 4 p.m. at Stevenson Field. The Bears will look to carry their momentum into the season’s final stretch as they chase the Ivy League title.

“We definitely want to be at the top,” Hebert-Seropian said. “All wins in the next games — that’s what we’re aiming for, nothing lower.”

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