SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Freshman Hallie Shiers scored an opening-half goal for the Merrimack College women’s soccer team, collecting the Warriors’ first-ever tally in Northeast Conference (NEC) play as Merrimack began league action on Monday evening at Bryant University.
The host Bulldogs scored twice to start the game at Beirne Stadium, but Shiers’ 33rd-minute goal cut the deficit in half. Senior goalkeeper Erin Fulton made six first-half saves to quell a strong start for Bryant. The hosts held on, however, adding a third goal to take home a 3-1 victory. Merrimack fell to 1-4 (0-1 NEC) while Bryant improved to 2-3 (1-0 NEC).
Score: Bryant 3, Merrimack 1
Records: Merrimack (1-4-0, 0-1-0 NEC) | Bryant (2-3-0, 1-0-0 NEC)
Location: Beirne Stadium | Smithfield, R.I.
- Fulton started the night by making three saves over the first 20 minutes of action, but Bryant cracked the Merrimack defense in the 23rd minute with a header to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead
- A little less than eight minutes later, the hosts added a second goal to double their advantage
- Merrimack gained possession on the right flank, and won a free kick in the 33rd minute that led to its first goal. The free-kick service was fought for in the box, and a loose ball eventually leaked out to Shiers at the top of the 18-yard box. She fired a right-footed strike that beat the Bryant keep, making it a 2-1 game
- For the first time this season, Fulton played a full 90 minutes. Bryant beat the fourth-year keeper in the 47th minute to create a two-goal margin. For the rest of the half, Fulton made three stops to keep the Warriors within two
- Merrimack put three shots on goal in the second stanza – by juniors Bridget Austin, Izzy McDonnell and freshman Vanessa Wainwright – but all three attempts were saved
Stats & Figures
- Shiers became the first Merrimack rookie to score this season and second to record a point, joining classmate Molly Murnane
- The Warriors now have five different goal scorers through five games
- Fulton registered a season-best eight saves, increasing her season total to 25. She entered the night ranking second in the NEC in save percentage, and left Smithfield with an .833 save percentage and 1.67 goals-against average
- Austin led the team with four shots
Merrimack visits Saint Bonaventure on Sunday, facing the Bonnies at 11 a.m. in Western New York.