By Danny Contreras
A lone Jewel Robinson goal was not enough to propel the CCSU Blue Devils Women’s Soccer team to victory over Bryant University.
The Blue Devils entered the game with two NEC losses so far in their campaign, and could not capitalize on massive amounts of possession with Bryant outdoing them in the counter-attack.
The Blue Devils began the game positively, participating in multiple pass and run movements that almost unlocked the Bryant defense before the tenth minute. Marissa Quesnel would try her luck from 20 yards but her shot went high off the bar. Minutes later, the Blue Devils would gain a corner kick that resulted in nothing. Shortly thereafter, Danica Foglio beat the keeper with a powerful header that bounced painfully close to the post but eventually went wide.
CCSU was outdone on thirteen minutes, however, when a Bryant attack produced a corner kick from the right. Shana Follette curled the ball directly at Carolyn Giuliano who was in front of the goal, and cooly scored the first goal of the game by beating Nikola Deiter.
Similar to the Bulldog’s goal, Kerriann Welch lofted a corner kick to Robinson, who patiently waited for the ball to arrive and equalized by sending the ball diagonally to the bottom left corner of the goal.
CCSU came close to doubling their lead on 23 minutes when Welch’s shot was kept out by the posts. Minutes later, Welch and Robinson would test the Bulldog keeper, Lauren Viverito, with two well taken shots on goal, forcing Viverito to save both shots as her defenders failed her over and over. CCSU searched for another goal for the remainder of the half, stopping all counter-attacks and producing a 5-10 shots-on-goal ratio before the half time whistle.
The team entered the second half in search of a winner and early on accumulated three shots on goal through Walsh, Allison Kelley and Egan. The efforts were in vain because in 57 minutes Bryant gained the lead, after a moment of brilliance from Shana Follette.
One goal down, CCSU began playing a more attacking formation and crowded the midfield with players in order to exert more dominance and create more chances. It almost paid off when Kerriann Welch took a dipping shot on goal from the right, but the outstretched Viverito managed to keep it out, resulting in a fruitless corner for the Blue Devils. CCSU then allowed five shots on goal from the Bulldogs in 10 minutes, exposing their backline too often, and relying on Deiter.
The intensity increased with 15 minutes to go when Jewel Robinson forced a save from Viverito with a powerful line driver from the left. CCSU then gained a corner kick off a deflection, but ruined their chances by committing a foul in the penalty area.
The Blue Devils were poised to score the equalizer that would take them to overtime and almost broke through the Bryant defense when Rachel Cerrone’s shot rattled the crossbars, beating the keeper but not the post.
Welch and Cerrone forced two saves from Viverito. Allison Kelley earned a yellow card on 89 minutes due to aggressive play. With one final move left the Cerrone tested her luck exactly at 90 minutes, but her shot was poor and it went wide of the post, effectively concluding a game that was already won by the astute Bryant defense.
The Blue Devils are currently last in the NEC with a 0-3-0 record, allowing 17 goals in the process and registering a sole win against New Hampshire.
Their next NEC game will be against St. Francis on Oct 5, 2012. The Blue Devils and Coach D’Arcy will be keen on getting at least a point from this match as they are last in the standings with zero points, and Robert Morris has acquired one following a draw in their fixture.