NEWARK, N.J. - The Bryn Mawr soccer team was back in action on Sunday afternoon, with the Owls looking to rebound from a tough season-opening loss on Friday to Cabrini. Fortunately for Bryn Mawr, they got exactly what they were looking for, as the Owls used a big goal from first-year Laura Burckhardt to take a 1-0 victory in a hotly-contested affair at Rutgers-Newark. Fellow freshman Grecia Prieto had a sparkling day as well for the Owls, making seven big saves in the net to preserve her first collegiate win.
The contest was a back-and-forth one from the beginning, with the hosts ripping the first shot of the contest just 48 seconds into play. Bryn Mawr answered right back a few minutes later with a strong effort from Paige Mastripolito, but Rutgers-Newark's Jasmin Erichsen was able to make a stop and keep things scoreless in the first ten minutes. The two sides continued the seesaw battle for the remainder of the first half, with the Scarlet Raiders outshooting Bryn Mawr by a slim 6-5 margin, but things remained deadlocked at 0-0 going into the halftime break.
The Owls did a fantastic job of turning up the pressure on their opponents right out of the gate in the second half. Burckhardt let loose another good shot on goal just over four minutes into the frame, but once again Erichsen made the save. Over the next few minutes, Bryn Mawr's defense showcased some talent of their own, as Owls defenders were able to force one Rutgers-Newark attempt wide and block a second, keeping things tight.
Finally, Bryn Mawr was able to break the deadlock thanks to some terrific play from Burckhardt and great distribution by Prieto. After collecting a loose ball, the Owls' goalkeeper sent a long punt down the center of the field, finding Burckhardt on the other end. The first-year midfielder was able to deftly control the pass and turn, taking several dribbles toward the penalty area. Finding herself with a bit of space, Burckhardt let loose with a rocket of a shot from 23 yards out, sending the ball sailing past Erichsen and into the top right corner to give Bryn Mawr a 1-0 lead.
That goal seemed to wake the hosts up a bit, as the Scarlet Raiders earned the next three good chances in the game. First, on a corner kick, an attacker sent the ball just wide, and then Prieto made a fantastic save on an effort a couple minutes later. That led to another corner for Rutgers-Newark, and this time they were able to get a shot on goal as a result, but Prieto once again shut down that attack with another sparkling stop.
The Owls continued to work their offense over the next few minutes as well, trying to relieve some of the mounting Rutgers-Newark pressure. Mastripolito, Burckhardt, and Hannah Oxendine all got shots off for the Owls, but each ended up saved or wide of the net. With time winding down in the game, the Scarlet Raiders to try and get shots on goal, but Prieto stopped the final shot she faced in the 87th minute, and from there the Owls were able to run out the rest of the clock and collect their first victory of 2019.
With the win, Bryn Mawr moves to 1-1 on the young season. The team will continue their six-game season-opening homestand on Friday evening against Cedar Crest. With a win, Bryn Mawr would move above the .500 mark in a season for the first time since the start of the 2016 campaign. They'll get their chance at it at 7:00 PM on Friday night in Allentown.