Bryant University’s women’s lacrosse team defeated the Holy Cross Crusaders this past Saturday, with a final score of 9-6 to open the 2015 season. On the series, Bryant is now 2-3 against Holy Cross. Last season, The Bulldogs won 8-7 in overtime with a last minute score by Kim Sniffen.
This game was shaping up to be a classic arctic match up. Temperatures entered the mid-twenties and both teams looked to put their yearlong training to the test.
Play started off slowly, as both teams struggled offensively to get the ball into the back of the cage. Holy Cross soon scored with their best attacker, Laura Ryan. Bryant soon retaliated with a score from sophomore Emily Columbus. But Holy Cross took a 3-1 lead by two lucky free positions. Bryant continued to have a difficult time getting shots on goal as Holy Cross’ goalie Katie Boyle played outstandingly, having six in saves in the first period. Bryant struggled to find a rhythm offensively and defensively, picking up 13 total fouls; two of which resulted in direct goals for the Crusaders. At the half, Bryant looked as if they were on their heels.
However, at the start of the second, Bryant quickly retaliated with goals from both Catlin Brown, a freshman, and Emily Columbus making the score 3-3. Holy Cross’ Laura Ryan put another shot in the back of the net, making it 4-3. But, nearing the fifteen minute mark, the Bulldogs began to go on the offensive. Junior Nicole Britton found the equalizer between the pipes, and a minute later Emily Columbus scored her third goal of the day, giving Bryant a 5-4 lead. It was Emily’s first hat trick as a Bulldog.
Moments later Bryant senior, Shannon Burns, netted her first goal of the season. Catlin Brown proceeded to have back to back scores on two different free positions, giving her a hat trick in her first ever collegiate game. Bryant pulled out to an 8-4 lead. Holy Cross answered back with two quick scores, one by Laura Ryan, also giving her a hat trick on the day. But with 1:24 left in the game, Shannon Burns iced the win by scoring her second goal. The Bulldogs walked away with a 9-6 victory.
Besides her only goal on the day, Nicole Britton played incredibly well with two assists, one right before halftime when she intercepted the ball deep in Holy Cross territory and connected with Emily Columbus for a score. Nicole also picked up two ground balls. Freshman goalies Sam Santeramo and Daja Andrews split time in the cage, both totaling a combined 4 saves on the day against a difficult Holy Cross offense. Not since the 2009 season had a freshman goalie ever started the year for the Bulldogs. Bryant’s draw specialists Shannon Burns and freshman Kendall McCartney did well too, controlling 9 of 17.
The Bulldogs will have to wind back the clocks after this season opener victory, as they take on Siena this Tuesday at 1 pm at the Bryant Turf Complex. They will also face off against Brown on Saturday February 21st.
For more information, visit BryantBulldogs.com