Sports

Strong starts not enough for w. lax

By
Sports Staff Writer
Monday, April 20, 2009

Leading 2-1 at halftime against No. 3 Penn (13-0, 7-0 Ivy) Saturday, the women’s lacrosse team (6-7, 2-3) gave up a huge second half, giving the Quakers a 14-4 win and the Bears their second loss of the week.

In their first game of the week on Tuesday, the Bears took an early 3-2 lead at Quinnipiac (12-2) but began their slide with five minutes left in the first half. They ultimately fell 11-6.

Captain Lauren Vitkus ’09 led the Bears with two goals against Quinnipiac, but couldn’t find opportunities against Penn and she didn’t take a single shot on Saturday. Vitkus was helped by Jesse Nunn ’09, Kelly Robinson ’09, and Paris Waterman ’11, who each scored a goal in both games.

Quinnipiac 11, Brown 6

The Bears started strong against Quinnipiac, gaining a 2-1 lead 8:49 after the opening draw, but it was the Bobcats who were on top after the final whistle.

Quinnipiac came into the game on a hot streak, having won five consecutive games. They shredded defenses over that stretch, averaging more than 18 goals per game.

Vitkus said Brown’s defense was one of the only strong points in a tough day for the Bears.

“We played terribly,” Vitkus said. “But our defense did play solid.”

The Bears held the Bobcats to fewer goals than any other team since Quinnipiac began its run on March 29.

Quinnipiac scored its second goal at 19:41, but Brown regained a one-goal lead on Vitkus’s first of the afternoon at 23:27. The Bears were not ahead for long, as the Bobcats scored three goals in under three minutes and never looked back.

The Bobcats extended their lead to 7-3 with two goals early in the second half.

The Bears looked like they might stage a comeback when Nunn scored her first goal of the afternoon at 9:18 and Vitkus added her second just over two minutes later, making it a 7-5 game.

Quinnipiac widened the gap by rattling off four consecutive goals in ten minutes to go ahead, 11-5, with less than eight minutes left on the clock.
Waterman scored one more for the Bears, but the final score ended 11-6 in Quinnipiac’s favor.

When asked what Quinnipiac did well, Vitkus paused before saying, “I think they did a good job capitalizing on our mistakes. I don’t know what they did necessarily — I think we sort of beat ourselves.”

Penn 14, Brown 4

The Bears returned to Ivy League play on Saturday when they took on league leader Penn, which had not lost a league game since 2006.

Penn got off to a slow start in what proved to be its 22nd consecutive Ivy League win.

Robinson put Brown on the scoreboard first when she netted an unassisted goal 10:40 into
the game.

The Bears added another goal 3:21 later when Nunn scored her second of the week and 22nd of the season to put Brown up 2-0 on its home turf.

The two teams combined for only 12 shots in the first half, and the scoring was similarly low.

“They like to slow it down, and we were going to slow it down against them, so it was a 2-1 game in the first half — which is ridiculous,” Caldwell said. “They’re used to scoring at will.”

Penn finally got its only first-half goal with less than six minutes remaining in the half, making it 2-1 Brown going into the break.

“We were pretty pumped up,” Vitkus said. “We knew they were going to come out extremely strong in the second half — we heard their coach kind of yelling at them.”

The Quakers exploded in the second half. They scored 3:09 after halftime, tying the game 2-2 and sparking a 13-1 run over the
next 21:44.

Penn had possession for most of the second half. The Quakers led the draw control count by only 9-7, but Caldwell said the statistics were misleading.

“We won a lot of (draw controls) and lost them within a couple of seconds of gaining possession, so we never actually got on offense,” she said.

Caldwell scored Brown’s lone goal during that stretch with a free position shot at 7:30. 

The Quakers’ win completed a 7-0 Ivy League season, making them the Ivy League Champions for the third year in a row.

The Bears will continue their Ivy League campaign when they head to Princeton, N.J., to face the No. 7 Princeton Tigers (11-2, 5-1) next Saturday. The Tigers have taken nine of their last ten contests, including a 14-4 win over Dartmouth last Saturday. Their lone loss in that stretch was a 10-5 game at Penn.

“You can count on Princeton being extremely cocky and confident always, so I think that we can — I mean I know that we can — really give them a run for their money,” Caldwell said. “But we have to be completely on our game.”