Despite early setbacks, Bruins ground Hawks on Senior Night

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Despite early setbacks, Bruins ground Hawks on Senior Night

Defender Jill Iles protects the ball from the Hawks’ Shauna Anderson during Senior Night. The team has now won five of its past seven games. Photo: Emma Klak

The Bruin women overcame an early deficit during last Friday’s Senior Night to beat the Chowan University Hawks 3-1.

Chowan, which plays at the NCAA Division II level, came out strong in the first half. Hawks forwards Erica Wagnon and Erica Jefferson led the offense, getting off a goal shot minutes into the game that Bruins keeper Tori Anderson snagged.

The Hawks’ defense repeatedly cleared the ball, giving the Bruins few offensive opportunities until Bruins forward Sarah Porch launched a ripping shot at Hawks keeper Jennifer Harvell, who barely tipped it over the goal.

Forward Morgan Klein pulled the Hawks ahead 1-0 after launching a high shot that bounced over Anderson’s hands and into the goal.

Bruins coach Chris Carmichael said the team struggled to communicate in the first half. “At halftime we talked about attitude and composure,” he said. “We were reacting to everything instead of directing the game.”

The Bruins generated better offensive pressure in the second half and were especially helped when forward Lauren Peek entered the game. Peek took two shots on goal in her first minute of play, energizing the team.

Consistent passes and better touches led to two goals within a minute of each other for the Bruins. First, midfielder Victoria Musselman took a cross from Porch, drilling the ball into the lower left from six yards out. Porch scored 30 seconds later, breaking past a Hawks defender to send a beautiful shot into the upper left crossbars.

The Hawks’ offense tried to recover, but Bruins defender Caitlyn Lehman and center back Jill Iles sealed up the backfield for the rest of the game. A third and final goal for the Bruins came when forward Spencer Martin scored on a free kick.

Coach Carmichael said winning on Senior Night was a great boost to the team and that beating a NCAA Division II school was especially incredible for a first-year program.

“It’s a huge accomplishment for this team. After all the hours of work and sweat, they deserve it,” he said.