Women’s Soccer Battles to 2-2 Draw with Bridgeport

Photo credit: Paola Brena.
Photo credit: Paola Brena.

RINDGE, N.H. (September 30, 2019) – For the Franklin Pierce University women's soccer team, it was a spirited clash on Monday night with the defending national champions at Sodexo Field. The Ravens built a two-goal lead, thanks to a two-goal effort from senior midfielder Gabi Pereira (Belo Horizonte, Brazil), but could not hold it down the stretch as Bridgeport battled back to force a 2-2 draw in the non-conference tilt. Graduate student forward Maegen Doyle provided the equalizer on a 76th-minute penalty kick.

With the tie, Franklin Pierce's record moves to 3-3-1, while Bridgeport now stands at 3-4-1.

Franklin Pierce did not waste any time jumping out front on Monday night, as Pereira opened the scoring on a free kick just 3:57 into the proceedings. She took a free kick from just outside the top, left-wing corner of the penalty area and went to the far side with her shot from there. The shot stayed on target just long enough to catch the inside of the right post and wound up in the net for her fourth goal of the season.

The remainder of the first half went without further scoring, but Pereira would eventually make it 2-0, with a goal in the 53rd minute to notch her second straight multiple-goal game. Freshman forward Keyla Gonzalez Jaen (San Jose, Costa Rica) did the heavy lifting on the play, as she worked the ball along the end line to the right side of the goal, within the penalty area, and eventually sent a centering pass out front. The pass slipped through to Pereira, just to the left of the penalty spot, and the senior buried it into the left side of the net to double the lead. Pereira now has nine points (4-1-9) in her last two games after being held to just one goal in the season's first five games.

Bridgeport set about its comeback just under 10 minutes after the second Pereira goal, in the 63rd minute. With the ball outside the penalty area on the left-wing side, graduate student back Marieke Kramer lofted a high, arcing shot towards the goal. The ball floated long enough to elude the grasp of Franklin Pierce sophomore goalkeeper Casey Kane (Millis, Mass.) and tucked inside the right post to cut the Purple Knights' deficit in half. It was Kramer's second goal of the campaign.

Just inside the final quarter-hour, Bridgeport would draw level. Franklin Pierce sophomore back Cristina Barbellido (Madrid, Spain) was whistled for a foul inside the penalty area on the right side, which resulted in a penalty kick awarded to the Purple Knights. Doyle took the 76th-minute penalty for Bridgeport and pumped it into the left side of the net for her team-leading 12th goal of the year.

Neither team could find the net over the final 14:38 of regulation nor in either overtime session, as the game went on to finish in a 2-2 draw.

Kane (2-1-1) piled up 10 saves on the night, against 12 shots on goal, in front of the Franklin Pierce net. Freshman goalkeeper Helena Dahlstrom (1-1-1) finished with two saves against two shots at the other end of the field for Bridgeport.

The Ravens return to the field on Wednesday, Oct. 2, when they travel to Saint Rose for a Northeast-10 Conference contest. Game time is set for 6 p.m. at Plumeri Sports Complex in Albany, N.Y.

For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (https://www.fpuravens.com). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce soccer apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' brand new online store (https://www.shopfpuravens.com).