Sports

Bears suffer two one-goal losses

By
Sports Editor
Monday, September 26, 2011

The field hockey team was especially hungry for a win this weekend after falling in its Ivy opener 3-1 to Columbia (3-4, 2-0 Ivy) Sept. 17. But the Bears (1-7, 0-2) dropped the ball in front of their home fans against Dartmouth and Colgate University, losing by one goal in each game.

Dartmouth 4, Brown 3 (OT)

Forward Meghan O’Donnell ’15 put the Bears on the board first against Dartmouth (6-2, 2-0) with help from tri-captain Bridget McNamara ’12. McNamara sent the ball down the field, and it deflected off a Big Green defender’s stick toward the left post, where O’Donnell was able to whack it in to give Bruno the 1-0 advantage, which held going into the half.

“We came out ready to attack,” said rookie goalkeeper Shannon McSweeney ’15. “We put one in during the first half, which was huge for our confidence. We knew Dartmouth would be riled up.”

But the Bears could not withstand Dartmouth’s second-half adrenaline rush. In the first six minutes of the half, the Big Green found the equalizer after drawing out three corners and taking four shots, and Bruno did not put a single shot on goal.

With the game tied 1-1, both teams traded a pair of goals. Less than two minutes after Dartmouth’s tying goal, tri-captain Leslie Springmeyer ’12 lifted the ball over Big Green goalie Meagan Vakiener on a rebound to put Brown ahead 2-1. But just a few minutes later, Dartmouth again evened the score 2-2.  

O’Donnell then scored her second goal of the game to give the Bears a 3-2 lead, only to see Dartmouth answer once again with a goal of its own. At the end of regulation, the teams remained in a 3-3 deadlock, sending the game into overtime.

“Every time they scored, we put one right back up there,” McSweeney said. “We really hung in it the whole game and gave everything we had in our tanks.”

But in the end, leaving everything they had on the field was not enough for the Bears. With a goal eight minutes into overtime, the Big Green took the lead for the first time and sealed the win.

Though the Bears never trailed until the final buzzer, Dartmouth statistically held the upper hand throughout the game, with 17 corners compared to the Bears’ four, and 35 shots to Brown’s 13. All three of the game’s penalties were called against Bruno.

“I think that these guys are in such a learning and growing phase that they’re not able to accomplish the goal,” said Head Coach Jill Reeve. “We’re focusing on improving our composure in the back, which means minimizing corners against us.”

Colgate 3, Brown 2

After the deflating loss to Dartmouth, the Bears only had a day’s rest before taking on the Raiders (4-6), who took advantage of the Bears’ fatigue and scored just over two minutes into the game.

“We didn’t come out hard enough at the start,” McSweeney said. “We needed to find the fire. We didn’t find that spark. Tired legs got to us today.”

The rest of the half was quiet, and the Bears went into halftime trailing 1-0.  

But Bruno wasted no time in the second half. Avery Burns ’14 scored just over a minute after the whistle, tying the game 1-1.  

The Raiders then responded with two goals, putting them up 3-1 with only 15 minutes left in the game. Springmeyer eventually found the back of the net with four minutes left to play. Fired up, the Bears launched five shots in the last two minutes alone, allowing Colgate no offensive opportunities. Bruno won a corner with 15 seconds left, but was unable to capitalize on the opportunity, losing the game 3-2.

“Our team, being down a goal, pulled together and played hard, and they’re learning how to play together as a unit,” Reeve said. “Once we do that consistently, the results will be to our liking.”

McSweeney said she believes the team will turn around its season soon.

“Our big breakthrough is coming,” she said. “We’re right there, it’s coming. We just need to hang in here and keep doing what we’re doing, and things will start falling into place.”

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