BRYN MAWR, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr field hockey team set a new consecutive-game shutout record earlier Wednesday afternoon, thanks to the Owls comfortable 3-0 win over Wilson College. Sophomore goalkeeper Anna Hartzell got her first career win in the cage for Bryn Mawr, while Sara Rilatt, Mary Cugini, and Sophia Pisano all tallied goals for the Owls in the victory.
The Owls dominated the opening quarter of today's contest, jumping right out of the gate and peppering the Phoenix with shots early. Bryn Mawr outshot the visitors 11-0 in that first frame, and at first, Wilson managed to withstand that early pressure. Phoenix goalkeeper Krista Nayadley made seven saves in the first quarter, including two in the first 3:33 of the game. However, the Owls scratched an early goal across to negate that hard work, striking with the opener just 3:42 into the contest. Off of a penalty corner, Kelly Bergman ripped a shot that Nayadley was able to make a save on. However, the ball bounced around dangerously in the circle, and ultimately Sara Rilatt was able to get to it at the top of the arc. She let loose with a low shot that appeared to deflect off of several defenders and take several bounces on its way to the cage. It finally skipped past Nayadley and inside the left post, giving Bryn Mawr a 1-0 advantage.
Despite the overwhelming advantage in shots early on in the contest, it took the Owls into the second quarter to find their first insurance goal of the day. It came after yet another penalty corner for the Owls. The initial opportunity resulted in no chances for Bryn Mawr, but a minute later, the Owls worked the ball down low on the left on the stick of Meghan O'Shea. The first year ripped a hard-angle shot from near the endline that Nayadley was able to save. However, the rebound caromed to the Owls' Sophia Pisano, and she was able to get it quickly to Mary Cugini in front of the cage. The senior co-captain and reigning Centennial Conference Offensive Player of the Week knew exactly what to do with it, firing into a nearly unguarded cage to put Bryn Mawr in front 2-0 in the first half.
Wilson continued to play admirably despite their early deficit, and for the most part did a good job to survive the rest of the game. The Phoenix were able to limit Bryn Mawr's chances most of the rest of the way, and they eventually broke out and got off two shots of their own in the contest. However, one was blocked and the second sailed harmlessly wide of the cage, giving the Phoenix no real chance at making it interesting late. In fact it was the Owls who would strike one more time, bagging their third goal of the game with just over four minutes left to play. Ryann McManus collected a pass in the midfield and was able to cut directly through the middle of the defense and get to the top of the circle. As soon as she entered the arc, she let loose a low, hard shot towards the right side of the cage. Pisano was waiting in the perfect position midway up the circle, and she was able to get the perfect angle on her stick and deflect the ball past Nayadley and into the netting to make it a 3-0 Bryn Mawr win.
Today's result is the fourth straight victory for the Owls where they have not allowed a goal, something never before accomplished in program history. Previously, the Owls recorded three straight shutouts in 1993, and a win/tie/win streak back in 1975 where they allowed zero goals. This is also the fastest the Owls have ever reached four shutouts in a single season, beating out their 2017 campaign where they started with four shutout wins in their first five games. The Owls are one of just three teams left in Division III who have not allowed a goal in 2019; they are joined in that group by fellow Centennial Conference member Muhlenberg and Rhodes, who has played just one game so far this season.
Today's contest wraps up a four game season-opening homestand for Bryn Mawr. The Owls will be back in action on Saturday afternoon for their first road game of 2019. Bryn Mawr will travel to New Jersey to take on Ramapo in that matchup, which is slated to start at 4:00 PM. The two programs have met just once in recorded history, with the Owls taking a slim 1-0 victory against the Roadrunners back in 2017.