WORCESTER, Mass. – Bryant sophomore forward Rachel Ivanicki scored the game-winning goal in the 86th minute to lead the Bulldogs to a 1-0 victory over Holy Cross in non-conference women's soccer action on Tuesday evening at the Linda Johnson Smith Soccer Stadium. With the win, Bryant evens its record to 3-3-0 on the season, while the Crusaders fall to 0-4-1 overall.
Holy Cross had its first chance to score in the 20th minute, as freshman forward Christina Napolitano (Concord, Mass.) ripped a shot at the net, but it was kicked away by a Bryant defender. The Crusaders also had a chance late in the first half to register a goal. In the 43rd minute, sophomore forward Annie Galvin (Attleboro, Mass.) put a shot on net, but Bryant goalkeeper Kaylan Conrad made the diving save. In the first half, Holy Cross outshot Bryant 8-3, but the Bulldogs held the 4-0 advantage in corner kicks.
In the second half, the play from both teams picked up physically. With only four combined fouls in the first half, the second stanza saw nine total fouls by both teams. Holy Cross had a great chance to score in the 71st minute of play, as sophomore midfielder Jenna Scanlon (Auburn, Mass.) fed the ball past the Bryant backline to senior forward Alyssa Heiser (Bristol, Conn.). Heiser got the pass on the left side and fired a shot on net, but it was snatched by Conrad.
The Bulldogs ended the stalemate in the 86th minute, as Ivanicki received a pass from sophomore forward Scout Benson. Ivanicki redirected the ball off the assist and managed to slip it by Holy Cross junior goalkeeper Carly McCabe (Barrington, R.I.) for the first goal of the game. The Crusaders, however, would not go down without a fight. In the 89th minute of action Scanlon received a pass on the left side of the box and launched a shot that just cleared the outstretched fingertips of Conrad, but unfortunately for Holy Cross it rang off the crossbar.
Conrad made three saves and picked up her first career shutout, moving her record to 2-3-0 on the season. For the Crusaders, McCabe pushed aside three shots in the defeat.
The Crusaders outshot Bryant 12-10, but the Bulldogs held the 4-3 edge in shots on goal. Bryant also held the 4-2 advantage in corner kicks.
Holy Cross will return to action on Friday, Sept. 13, when it will play the first game of the Fairfield Invitational versus Hartford at 4:00 p.m. in Fairfield, Conn.