BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- The visiting Bridgewater State University women's soccer team rallied for a 2-1 victory over Roger Williams University in a non-conference matchup on Wednesday night at Bayside Field.
The Bears improve to 7-4 on the season, while the host Hawks fall to 5-6-2. Bridgewater has won each of its last four games and seven of the last eight.
The beginning part of the game was a battle for possession in the midfield. Shots were difficult to come by for both teams, with only two blocked attempts by Samantha Woznicki (Bristol, Conn.) and one shot wide by Kellsie Mitchell (Bristol, R.I.).
In the 14th minute, Jenny Nasser (Beverly, Mass.) sent a corner kick to short side of the goal. Ali Waxgiser (Harding, N.J.) stepped up and put a short kick to the inside post, but was denied on a diving save by BSU goalkeeper Lauren DeSousa (Taunton, Mass.).
Then in the 24th minute, Burke secured possession on the left side of the box. She tried to put one past RWU's Natalie O'Donovan (Quincy, Mass.), but Donovan calmly tuned aside the shot.
Three minutes later, the Hawks came through with the opening goal. After beating a BSU defender, Waxgiser sent a pass backwards on the left end to Jodie Lavigne (Coventry, R.I.). Lavigne chipped a long shot that hit bottom of the crossbar and came down over the goal line.
Roger Williams' lead would only last until the 34th minute, when the Bears tied the game at 1-1. Sanders made a run to the middle from 40 yards out and outmuscled a Hawk defender attempting to kick the ball away. Sanders maintained possession and beat the keeper with a shot inside the left post for her fourth goal of the season.
Waxgiser had a chance to put RWU back on top in the 40th minute. She had the ball at the top of the box and put up a shot that was headed for the top shelf but sailed just over the net.
Burke came close to putting Bridgewater State on top early in the second half. She made her way down the right side and put up a long shot towards the left post. The shot had the distance but just hooked wide. She would send another shot from the same area in the 50th minute, but put it right at O'Donovan.
Burke would finally come through for the Bears in the 74th minute converting off her own corner kick. After the corner attempt was sent back to her by an RWU defender, Burke booted a long shot from the left that curved inside the far post. The goal marked Burke's second of the 2017 campaign.
The Hawks had a pair of opportunities to score in the 77th minute. Lavigne served up a long shot from the left side but was turned away by a jumping fingertip save by DeSousa. Then less than a minute later, Kasey Provost (Peabody, Mass.) had a point-blank range scoring attempt in front of the goal, but DeSousa punched the shot over the net. Bridgewater State would continue to hold off the late surge by the Hawks.
O'Donovan and DeSousa were both busy in net, making nine saves each. DeSousa now has 24 wins in a BSU uniform as she took over sole possession of third place on the Bears' all-time list.
On Saturday, Roger Williams travels to Salve Regina and Bridgewater State heads to Worcester State.