For those of you not in attendance for the Monday matchup between Providence College and Brown, you missed out. In the championship game of the inaugural Ocean State Classic, the Friars tied the Bears at 0-0 and won the tournament in a penalty-kick shootout — that was after the prior 110 minutes of the game.
Bruno, which advanced by defeating Bryant 4-0 in the first round of play Friday, battled the Friars through 90 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods. The game, which was recorded as a tie, needed to be decided for the sake of the trophy, so the game went to a penalty-kick shootout with five shots for each team. The lone blocked shot was off the foot of David Walls '11; the Friars converted all of their opportunities.
"It's a nice precursor to hopefully where you want to be, either conference or national champions," said PC Head Coach Chaka Daley. The Bears started out slow against their opponents' high-octane pace and committed 19 penalties, including five offsides, and three yellow cards on the game. The Friars tallied 15 penalties and two yellow cards.
"There were a lot of fouls in the game," said Brown Head Coach Pat Laughlin. "Providence did a good job moving the ball around in the first half."
After halftime, Bruno came out with high intensity. With a 7-2 shot advantage in the second half, the Bears looked more like the NCAA National Tournament team of 2009. The run was aided by younger team members Ryan McDuff '13, Dylan Remick '13 and Eric Robertson '13 — all three playing the full game.
"The sophomores are getting a lot more in the rotation," Laughlin said. "Some of them played last year, but this year, they're just getting better."
Senior leadership was not missing, though. Goalkeeper Paul Grandstrand '11 blocked five shots and made one of Bruno's penalty-kick shots after playing every minute of the marathon game.
Though he normally focuses on his goalkeeping, the senior said he feels comfortable taking penalty shots.
"Coach asked who wanted to shoot, and I put my hand up," Grandstrand said. "You got to have the confidence."
Taylor Gorman '12 was the standout player from Friday night's game against Bryant. He added two goals to those scored by teammates Jon Okafor '11 and Sean Rosa '12.
Bryant took on the University of Rhode Island at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the consolation game. URI defeated Bryant 3-2, with the winning shot coming in less than two minutes before the end of regulation.
The Bears will be back in action Friday night against the University of South Carolina in the Brown Soccer Classic, after Yale takes on Hofstra at 5 p.m. in the first game of the tournament. Bruno will start play at 7:30 p.m. on Stevenson Field.