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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Women's Soccer 3, Bryant 1

PC wards off feisty Dogs
Delectable debut for Delciampo salvaged

The upstart Bryant Bulldogs have a protracted plan to blossom into a Division I fixture. The Friars are running on an exponentially spiking appetite to splash its arid track record. Their convergence on Glay Field Thursday afternoon concocted a matchup of two inwardly diverse situations, yet also a fitting complement between two Little Rhody soccer sorority bases measuring up as lightweights on the NCAA landscape.

Though this was a pre-Labor Day showdown, victory –or better yet, defeat evasion- would be a symbolically crucial start for either party.

Ultimately, the Friars averted disaster quite fashionably in a 3-1 triumph, laying out a 2-0 lead in the first half and then using an arm wrestling second to sugarcoat a daylong imbalance in fouls (15 calls against PC, 6 against Bryant), two second half yellow cards, and an imposing Bryant rally effort.

The Bulldogs, in their first of a slated four campaigns as an independent Division I itinerant, are now bearing a not-bad-for-beginners record of 1-2. Providence, which for the duration of its Big East membership has burrowed for the slightest signs of improvement that it can depend on, is officially 1-0 for the first time three years –for whatever that’s worth.

The Friars garnered their good omen almost exclusively in the form of Kate Delciampo, a reserve sophomore middie who was barely ten minutes removed from the bench before she had her first three career points –sculpted in the form of an assist on Tara Ricciardi’s goal in the 34th minute, followed by her own unaided strike at 41:29 for the eventual game-winner. Everyone is still breaking in their cleats and more mountainous challenges await, but Delciampo’s transcript in 2008 already matches that of 2007 scoring leader Megan Mancarella.

In logical accordance with the contesting programs’ respective backgrounds, PC held Bryant off any slots in the stats sheet throughout the first 17 minutes whilst sprinkling two offside calls, two fouls, and a slanted first shot attempt by freshman striker Laura DiClemente at 6:15.

Bryant eventually broke out the game’s first shot on net –a hack from Brooke Duchaney stoned by goalkeeper Jill Schott- only to watch the Friars’ Jill Camburn turn the course right back and try her luck with Bulldogs stopper Katie Mitchell twice in a matter of 67 seconds.

The Friars’ swarm put them instantly ahead in terms of shot attempts (5-1) and shots on net (2-1), though it was all in vain scoring-wise. But at 31:56, head coach Jim McGirr’s blockbuster, three-player swap between the starting lineup and the bench proved to uncork a particularly carbonated bottle in Delciampo, who was confined to the sidelines by injury all last season.

Delciampo plugged in the similarly feisty Camburn’s old post and had a helper on Ricciardi’s goal before her technical collegiate career was even two minutes old. Less than five minutes later, she let her first career shot attempt –and the Friars’ eighth of the game versus Bryant’s three- go wide at 38:37, but only waited another three minutes to hammer another shot home, stamping PC’s 2-0 edge at the half.

The Bulldogs recharged their laser-beamed defensive shield for the better part of the second half, keeping Mitchell out of the equation on three consecutive PC attempts and testing Schott once more courtesy scoring leader Kaitlyn Hinck at 57:10. But Hinck, who was good for a goal per game out west last weekend, was stifled by Schott and gave way to Duchaney in a substitution five minutes later.

Schott, who needed to make but one save in the first 45 minutes, perked up between the 64th and 79th minutes, during which Bryant ran up a 4-1 edge in shooting attempts and wrinkled the scoring difference to 2-1 at 69:30 courtesy senior co-captain Amy Orzechowski.

By half’s –and game’s- end, Bryant drew a more snug difference in shots (7-6 as opposed to PC’s 10-3 edge in the first half) and each team had tested the opposing goalkeeper five times.

Last ditch stabs from Bulldogs’ Alex Dippipo at 78:32 and Caitlyn Brodeur at 87:37 counted towards that tally. What didn’t count towards it, but did wrest the game safely away for the Friars, was an own goal on the part of the Bryant defense with 3:19 to spare in regulation.

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