Bears Tame Lions in Season Opener, Win 7-1
SPRINGFIELD -- A first-half nail biter turned into a second-half rout when the Bears used four goals in five minutes to pull away from the Lindenwood Lions and notch a season-opening win, 7-1.
Junior Sarah Cusick (San Diego, Calif.) and freshman Laura Tavares (Mississauga, Ontario) led the way with two goals and two assists apiece. Tavares was not the only newcomer to get in on the scoring as new additions Casey Bayliss (Jr., Bathurst, NSW, Australia) and Hillary Lawless (Fr., St. Louis, Mo.) combined with veteran Jennifer Portell (Sr., Edwardsville, Ill.) to round out the scoring with a goal each.
Goalkeepers Steph Anderson (So., Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Andrea Bain (Fr., Victoria, B.C) combined to limit the Lions to the lone goal. Anderson kept a clean sheet for the first half before handing it over to Bain who allowed a goal in the second.
The big win was anything but comfortable for the first 48 minutes. Cusick's unassisted goal in the 21st minute opened the game's scoring, but the Lindenwood defense held tough and took the Bears to halftime, 1-0.
Lindenwood's Haley McCulloch tied the match in the 41st minute with a goal that deflected off defender Ramie Masters (So., Huntington Beach, Calif.) and into the back of the cage. The game stayed 1-1 until Tavares scored in the 46th minute to take the lead for good.
From there, the Lions D could no longer keep the Bears offense at bay. Tavares scored again three minutes later and Bayliss, Lawless and Cusick followed in a matter of five minutes to give the Bears a 6-1 cushion. Bayliss, who kept the pressure on all day with six shots, had the most impressive goal when she stole the face-off from the Lindenwood forward, and made a 30-yard run on goal, splitting defenders and firing a shot past the keeper.
Portell scored in the 69th minute for good measure, capping the scoring at 7-1.
The Bears won their first game of the season for the first time since 2008, and improved to 7-1 all-time against fellow Missouri school Lindenwood.
MSU is back in action Sept. 4, when they travel to Hanover, N.H., for a game against Fairfield. Start time in 1 p.m.