BRYN MAWR, Pa. - It was a scorching day on the turf on Applebee Field earlier Saturday afternoon, but that didn't stop the Bryn Mawr soccer team from putting on a valiant performance. The Owls put in a strong 90 minutes against rival "Seven Sisters" school Smith College, but despite their best efforts, it was the Pioneers who survived with a 4-0 win on the day. Fiona Steele led the Owls with two shots on the day, while goalkeepers Leah Baer and Catherine Bactat combined to make five saves.
Steele had the first opportunity of the game for either side, as she got a shot off from outside the box in the opening five minutes of play. However, that effort was blocked, and Smith (3-0-1) started to assert their control of the game from that point on. The Pioneers were knocking on the door for a good twenty minutes, and they finally broke through with a goal on a free kick in the 23rd minute. Despite a leaping effort from Leah Baer, Smith's Maya McCann was able to blast a shot into the top of the net just under the crossbar, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead. Just a few minutes later, the Pioneers would double their advantage, this time thanks to a lucky bounce in the box off of a fantastic save by Baer. The Owls' sophomore goalkeeper made a tremendous diving effort to stop a one-time shot she faced off of a cross. However, the ball bounced directly to another Smith player standing alone at the penalty spot, and she fired home into the empty net to give the Pioneers the 2-0 advantage.
The Owls continued to battle hard defensively into the second half, and freshman Catherine Bactat made her first appearance in goal for Bryn Mawr as well. Bactat impressed early on, making two saves, including one on a complete breakaway, to keep the Owls in the game in the opening part of the second frame. However, Smith's pressure proved relentless, and the visitors finally broke through for goals three and four midway through the half. Bryn Mawr continued to battle despite the deficit, and the Owls got their best chance for a goal with inside of ten minutes to play. Smith committed a foul against Fiona Steele just feet from the top of their own penalty box. Steele stepped up to take the free kick, just on the left side of the top of the box, and the junior tried to curl a the ball over the wall and just inside the left upper 90. However, she had just a little too much power on the shot, as the ball sailed just over the crossbar, ending Bryn Mawr's final look at the goal and giving Smith the 4-0 win.
Bryn Mawr won't have to sit and think about this tough loss too long, as the Owls will be right back in action Sunday. They will take on Mount St. Vincent, who currently sit 2-1 and took a 2-1 win earlier Saturday themselves over Neumann University. Game time for tomorrow is slated for 1:00 PM.