Sports

Bears fall to Bulldogs, beat Broncs

O’Donnell ’15 tallied three goals over the weekend, with two solidifying a win against Rider University

By
Senior Staff Writer
Monday, September 9, 2013

The field hockey team’s first two games both came down to the wire, with the women ceding a last-minute goal in a 4-3 loss to Bryant University Friday and defending a late-game shot to beat Rider University 3-2 Sunday. The non-conference nail biters provided a first glimpse of a team that graduated just one senior from last year’s 6-11 squad.

 

Bryant – 4, Brown – 3

Bryant junior Rosie Bird was a one-woman wrecking crew Friday afternoon, notching three goals that included the game-tying and winning goals late in the second half.

After Bird’s first goal gave the visitors an early 1-0 advantage, Alexis Miller ’16 tied the game with the Bears’ first goal of the year. But the Bulldogs (3-1) answered just before halftime to regain the one point advantage.

The Bears offense came out firing in the second half as Meghan O’Donnell ’15 and Hannah Rogers ’16 scored within two minutes of each other to push Bruno ahead 3-2. Bird then took over, scoring with seven minutes left to tie the game and then again with 32 ticks left on the clock, pulling off a win for the Bulldogs.

Head Coach Jill Reeve said she is happy with the way the team played in its first outing of the year but noted they need to be more aggressive to win.

“We played really well, but we played careful,” she said. “That’s difficult to do against Bryant because they really are fighters, and they go hard.”

 

Brown – 3, Rider – 2

The Bears got the chance to rebound two days later when the then undefeated Rider (3-1) rode into town. O’Donnell led the charge with two goals as Bruno ousted the Broncs for its first win of the season.

With no score 20 minutes into the first half, Liza Green ’15, former member of the Herald design staff, set up O’Donnell with a hard pass that O’Donnell popped into the net for a 1-0 lead. After Rider knotted the game with a goal of its own, Rogers fired home a feed from Jaclyn Torres ’17 to regain the lead.

The Broncs managed to tie things again before halftime, but O’Donnell stuck a second-chance tip into the net just three minutes into the second half, vaulting the Bears ahead once again, and this time for good.

Goalkeeper and tri-captain Shannon McSweeney ’15 was the star of the game’s final 30 minutes, making seven saves, including one with 30 seconds remaining.

“Shannon had some outstanding saves that kept us in the game,” Reeve said.

Tri-captain midfielder Avery Burns ’14 credited more aggressive offense and strong passing for the Bears victory over Rider.

“The biggest change from Friday’s game was really playing our game,” she said. “We wanted to control the pace of the game, so we wanted to play a very fast-paced game … and always have them on their heels.”

 

Coming next

The Bears travel to Vermont next week for two more non-conference matchups before making the trip to Columbia (2-0) on Sept. 20 to start their Ivy League schedule. Despite a 1-6 record in the conference last season, the squad is optimistic, Burns and Reeve both said.

Last season’s second-team All-Ivy performers McSweeney and Clayton Christus ’15 have returned looking for more success with five newcomers added to the roster.

“As a senior, I can easily say that this is the most talented team I have ever played on,” Burns said. “We lost one senior last year … but we have a freshman class that are all very talented and will all be impact players.”

Reeve was positive following the weekend split, saying this team can take the next step over last year’s squad.

“They are more seasoned, they play well together, and our passing game is pretty tremendous,” she said.

The Bears don’t have an easy road, playing in conference with the reigning national champions Princeton (2-0), but Burns said the Bears are looking stronger as a team and post a better mark than they did a year ago.

“Everyone else falls in very evenly behind (Princeton),” she said. “So we are shooting for that second or third place spot.”

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