Bridgeport, Conn.-University of Bridgeport junior Maegen Doyle (Harwich, England) converted a penalty kick with just over eight minutes to play in regulation after a handball in the box by a Stonehill College player to give the University of Bridgeport women's soccer team a hard-fought 2-1 win over the scrappy Skyhawks in NCAA Division II Championship Tournament First Round action on a soggy Friday afternoon at UB's Knights Field. With the victory, Bridgeport advances to the Second Round of the NCAA Division II Championship Tournament on Sunday morning, when the Purple Knights will host the College of St. Rose Golden Knights, who moved on by nipping Mercy College, 4-3, in a penalty kick shootout after playing to a 1-1 double overtime draw. Friday's win ups the Purple Knights 2018 season record to 15-4-1. Stonehill finishes its year at 13-7-0 overall.
Bridgeport is the number two seed in the NCAA Division II East Region, and Stonehill was slotted as the number seven seed.
The Purple Knights opened the scoring in the match with just over nine to play in the opening half, when freshman Anisha Hill (Woking, England) found the back of the net off her own rebound for her eighth goal of the season following a spectacular stop by Stonehill keeper Katilin Brown, who finished with four saves on the day.
Bridgeport held on to that 1-0 lead until the Skyhawks' Alex Giardina leveled the contest at 1-1 when she scored off her own rebound in the 75th minute, just about six minutes ahead of Doyle's game-winning tally, goal number 24 of the season for the East Coast Conference's Offensive Player of the Year.
Bridgeport senior goalkeeper Jennifer Wendelius (Lidingo, Sweden) made eight saves for the winners to earn win number 15 of the season.
Stonehill finished the match with a slight 14-12 edge in shots.