Central Connecticut Scores at 0:05 to Edge Bryant

SMITHFIELD, R.I. - Bryant junior Kim Sniffen (Redding, Conn.) tied the game at 8-8 on her fourth goal of the game with 1:10 remaining in regulation, but Mackenzy Ryan would devastate the Bulldogs with five seconds left on the clock, netting the game winner to lift Central Connecticut to a 9-8 win in NEC action Friday night.

The loss was the second time in the last three games the Bulldogs (6-5, 3-2 NEC) have been heartbroken by a goal in the last 10 seconds, while the Blue Devils (7-5, 5-0) stay perfect in league play on the back of 10 saves from sophomore Morgan Tullar and three goals from Ryan.

Bryant saw Sniffen lead the way with four tallies, three of them off her seven free position attempts, while junior netminder Brianna Watt (Babylon, N.Y.) did all she could in goal, making 10 stops herself despite the loss.

The Bulldogs left some big opportunities at the eight-meter line, going just 4 of 13 on free position shots to CCSU's 2 of 6 mark. The teams were close to even in nearly every other statistic, with the Black and Gold outshooting their visitors, 26-23, and picking up 15 ground balls to the Blue Devils' 14, while CCSU won 10 of the 19 draw controls in the contest.

The first half was a game of runs, as Central Connecticut quickly erased a 1-0 Bulldog start with four-straight tallies for a 4-1 advantage at the 17:05 mark. Bryant would respond, though, scoring four uninterrupted goals of its own in just over a four-minute span, getting two scores from Sniffen to bookend tallies from junior Haley Bloom (Hauppauge, N.Y.) and sophomore Shannon Burns (Mount Sinai, N.Y.).

Amanda Toke would retie the score at 5-5 for the visitors with 1:09 to play in the first, and Betsy Vendel - sister to Bulldog leading scorer Lisa Vendel (Sandy Hook, Conn.) - would give the Blue Devils a 6-5 edge heading into the halftime break off a score that came with 23 ticks left on the clock.

But out of the break, Lisa Vendel dished a ball off to Bloom for an early goal that knotted the game at 6-6, and the score would remain deadlocked for the next 10 minutes until Elyse Malecki put the visitors back on top with a goal at the 16:12 mark.

Ryan gave CCSU a two-score cushion as the clock ticked under 10 to go, but Sniffen responded for the Bulldogs just inside the final four minutes, cutting the deficit to 8-7, and scored again with 1:10 to play after a long and patient possession led to her fourth goal of the night. But Ryan's unassisted goal with just seconds left would seal the Blue Devil victory despite the late Bulldog push.

Lisa Vendel and Sniffen would pace the Bulldogs with three caused turnovers apiece, and Bloom would match the pair in draw controls with two each. Ali Roche had four caused turnovers for Central Connecticut, who got a game-high three draw control wins from Betsy Vendel.

The Bulldogs won't have long to ponder the loss, though, as they jump right back into regional action Sunday afternoon, facing off with a tough Brown side on the road at 2:00 p.m. in the Ocean State Cup.

* * * *

With five seconds remaining, senior Mackenzy Ryan cut toward the middle of the field and scored the game winning goal. Defensively, the Blue Devils (7-5, 5-0 NEC) were led by sophomore goalie Morgan Tullar, who recorded 10 saves. Bryant falls to 6-5 and 3-2 in Northeast Conference play with the loss.

The victory extends CCSU's school record winning streak to six games and the 2013 team has now matched the 2012 team with a school record five NEC victories. The Blue Devils also match the school record of seven victories set by the 2011 and 2012 teams.

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