Bryant Rallies with Final 8 Goals to Drop Siena

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. Bryant scored the final eight goals, including all five in the second half, to rally past Siena, 11-7, in the Saints' season opener at Siena Turf Field. Junior transfer Erin Mossop tallied a hat trick in her Siena debut.

Bryant (2-0) held Siena scoreless for the final 36:21 to overcome a four-goal deficit and spoil the debut of new Siena Head Coach Melissa Pearsall.

The Saints capped a six-goal run with Mossop's third goal of the game to take a 7-3 lead with 6:21 remaining in the first half. But the Bulldogs struck for three late scores to pull within 7-6 at the break.

Both goalies freshman Samantha DePasquale of Siena and Brianna Watt of Bryant had big second halves, keeping the score at a 7-6 advantage for the Saints with less than 15 minutes to go.

But Bryant finally broke through first, scoring twice in just over a minute and a half to reclaim the lead for good 8-7 on a Kimberley Sniffen goal with 13:06 left.

Mossop also won three draw controls for the Saints while classmate and Preseason All-MAAC selection Julia Sirianni added two goals, three draw controls and three groundballs. DePasquale was impressive in her collegiate debut, stopping 12 shots.

Lauren Descalzo led all scorers with five goals for Bryant, while Haley Bloom added two goals and two assists. Watt made nine saves for the Bulldogs which are the preseason favorites to win the Northeast Conference.

The Saints return to action next Wednesday, February 26th for a 3:00 p.m. tilt at Vermont.

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LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. Sophomore Lauren Descalzo (Hauppauge, N.Y.) tied her career high with five goals and Bryant University blanked Siena over the final 36 minutes on their way to an 11-7 victory on Tuesday afternoon at the Siena Turf Field.

Trailing 7-3 with 6:21 to go in the first half, the Bulldogs (2-0) ripped off the final eight goals to earn their second-straight victory over the Saints (0-1). Siena had won the previous four meetings between the two schools. The 2-0 start is the first for Bryant at the Division I level and the first time since the 2006 team started 3-0.

"I am really proud of this team for the way that we started in the second half," head coach Jill DePetris-Batcheller said. "Being Siena's first game they got a few early looks on us and our defense did a great job in the second half to keep them scoreless."

With her team trailing by four late in the first half, Descalzo jumpstarted the Bulldogs as she controlled the draw and then completed her hat trick as she fired a shot inside the right post to make it 7-4. Less than 30 seconds later, Descalzo picked up a ground ball in front of the cage and placed a shot in the top left corner for her fourth goal of the game. Freshman Molly Martin (Island Park, N.Y.) then forced a turnover and Haley Bloom (Hauppauge, N.Y.) made it pay off as she rolled the crease and deposited a shot past the Siena keeper.

While the Bulldogs' offense was finding its gear, the defense was stifling the Siena attack. Senior Brianna Watt (Babylon, N.Y.) started the stellar defensive stand with a huge doorstep-save on the Saints' Julia Sirianni. She continued her outstanding play in the second half, posting back-to-back point-blank saves on Siena snipers Sarah Croutier and Erin Mossop. Bryant's offensive possession and outstanding man defense did the rest as the Black and Gold held Siena to just 11 shots in the second half.

Both teams were unable to score over the first 15 minutes of the second half until Bryant was finally able to tie the game. Senior Katherine Keckeisen (Danbury, Conn.) intercepted a Siena clearing pass and fed Bloom who found a wide open Nicole Britton (Monmouth Beach, N.J.) for the game-tying goal with 14:54 left. Just over a minute later, senior Kimberly Sniffen (Redding, Conn.) stepped around a Siena defender and buried a shot into the top right corner to give Bryant a lead it would not relinquish.

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