Oct. 11, 2013
The first MAAC field hockey game ever was one to remember. Rosie Bird gathered a long entry pass from teammate Mallory Hancock nearly eight minutes into overtime, spun and fired the game-winner past Mary Drabich to propel Bryant to a Siena 3-2 win Friday at Siena turf field.
"It's a heartbreaker," Siena head coach Kara Zappone said. "That's the best game we've played all season."
Gabrielle Sullivan tied the game 2-2 late in the second half when she finished a feed from Katherine Bowie. Sullivan then nearly won the game for the Saints in overtime, but her breakaway opportunity was turned away just 36 seconds before Bird's winner.
Bird had a chance to win the game early in overtime when Drabich was drawn out of the cage, but Theresa Tremblay made a nifty defensive save to keep the Saints alive.
As the game drew on, the bleachers filled with Siena students yearning to see the program's first win in over three years. Several athletic teams made their way to Siena Turf Field after their practices ended to cheer on the Saints. They almost saw that elusive victory.
"It was very exciting," Zappone said. "The crowd was so energetic. We fed off it."
Freshman Ashley Dona got Siena a penalty corner early in overtime after she sprinted past her defender to gather a long clearing pass, but Megan Bohse had her shot blocked following the entry.
Siena was forced to play man-down for the final minute and 26 second of the game after Sage Stebbins was whistled for a green card. Bryant took advantage of the 6-on-5 opportunity by turning to Bird who delivered her second goal of the game on her 15th shot.
Bird's first goal came in the 17th minute when Hancock found her just inside the top of the circle after a corner. Bohse evened the game at 1-1 with a strong strike after a perfectly executed corner by the Saints. The Bulldogs took the lead back in the 46th minute when Kimberly Lizotte deflected a long cross by Bird just past Drabich.
Drabich played the second half and overtime in the cage for Siena, making eight saves. Like her teammates, she did everything she could to change the outcome.
"These ones hurt the most," Zappone said.