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Big Green Field Hockey Wins Wild Affair With Bryant, 6-5

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By John and Matt Risley

HANOVER, N.H. - A non-conference midweek game didn't have that type of feel to it Wednesday afternoon as the Dartmouth field hockey team squared off with Bryant at Chase AstroTurf Field.

Trailing late in the match, the Bulldogs (2-6) mounted a fevered comeback attempt that eventually fell just short in the end as the Big Green (2-4) held on for the one-goal victory, 6-5, to snap a four-game skid.

"I'm not going to say that I'm not happy about the win, but I would like us to be able to put together 70 minutes of good hockey and we had a lull in the second half that was disappointing to see," head coach Amy Fowler said following the contest. "We played well in the first half, but against a team like Bryant you know they're not going to lay down and let you win, they're going to keep fighting until the very end."

After scoring five goals total in the first five games, Dartmouth exploded with four in the first half alone against Bryant. Senior Liz Blanken (Short Hills, N.J.) opened the scoring with her second of the year just 1:40 into the game on a penalty corner with senior co-captains Lisa Masini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Maya Herm (Bethesda, Md.) picking up the assists.

Markers from Masini and junior Maggie Scanlon (Shaker Heights, Ohio) 1:16 apart midway through the opening half made it a 3-0 game. Freshman Brooke Van Valkenburg (Garden City, N.Y.) pushed the lead to four with 3:20 left in the opening period before Bryant's Rosie Bird scored her first of four on the afternoon with just 14 seconds remaining.

The Bulldogs came out hot in the second half, continuing their trend of strong play that began in the final moments of the previous period. Olivia Jankins and a second from Bird less than two minutes apart cut the Dartmouth lead to just one, 4-3.

Junior Sam Anderson (Wilton, Conn.) gave the home team a little breathing room as she deflected a long shot in the middle of the circle through the legs of Bryant goalkeeper Megan Hancock in the 51st minute. Just under 12 minutes later a blast from the left side off the stick of senior Sam McPherson (Ventura, Calif.) found its way through traffic out front and into the netting for a 6-3 lead.

That's when Bird put the Bulldogs' attack on her shoulder and tried to bring them back all on her own. Her third tally of the day came with 3:26 left in the game and cut the deficit to two. With 19 seconds showing on the scoreboard, Bird's fourth goal of the game found its way through a scrum of Big Green defenders trying to hold off the surging offense of the visitors.

However, there was not enough time on the scoreboard to complete the comeback bid as Dartmouth controlled the clock and let the final seconds tick away for the first home victory of the season and the first win since the season opener at UMass on Aug. 31.

Senior Jenna Stearns (Thornton, N.H.) once again got the start in goal, allowing one goal on the lone Bryant shot she faced. Sophomore Ellen Meyer (Prospect, Ky.) was tasked with the more difficult 35 minutes of play, stopping six of the 10 shots that came her way. Hancock stopped eight attempts from the Green and White, while allowing six in the loss.

Masini and Scanlon each had a goal and an assist on the afternoon, while Herm also registered a multiple-point effort with two helpers.

Bryant's Kayleigh Ballantyne had three assists to go along with Bird's four goals.

Dartmouth moves to 5-0 all-time against the Bulldogs.

The Big Green will once again be home on Saturday afternoon as they take on Brown at noon in the first Ivy League home game of the season.

Goals by period       1  2  Tot
 Bryant..............       1  4 -  5
 Dartmouth...........    4  2 -  6
  1.   1:40 DART BLANKEN, Liz (2) (HERM, Maya;MASINI, Lisa) - off penalty corner
  2.  14:25 DART MASINI, Lisa (4) (unassisted) - Move around goalie in the circle, shot far post
  3.  15:41 DART SCANLON, Maggie (1) (Van VALKENBURG, B.) - Loose ball in the circle.
  4.  31:40 DART Van VALKENBURG, B. (2) (SCANLON, Maggie) - Long pass defelected in the circle
  5.  34:46 BRYFH BIRD, Rosie (unassisted) - Loose ball in circle
  6.  42:10 BRYFH JANKINS, Olivia (BALLANTYNE, Kayleigh) - Off penalty corner
  7.  44:06 BRYFH BIRD, Rosie (unassisted) - Two shots, collected own rebound
  8.  50:47 DART ANDERSON, Sam (HERM, Maya) - Deflected shot in the middle of the circle
  9.  62:15 DART McPHERSON, Samantha (unassisted) - Big Shot from left side of circle
 10.  66:34 BRYFH BIRD, Rosie (BALLANTYNE, Kayleigh) - Rebound goal between goalie's leg
 11.  69:41 BRYFH BIRD, Rosie (BALLANTYNE, Kayleigh) - redirect on a long pass

 Shots: Bryant 14, Dartmouth 20
 Saves: Bryant 8 (HANCOCK, Megan 8), Dartmouth 6 (MEYER, Ellen 6)