Sports

Field hockey team falls to Bobcats, upsets Cardinals

The Bears’ triumph over No. 14 Louisville represents a momentous victory for the program

By
Contributing Writer
Tuesday, October 15, 2013

For the women’s field hockey team, a sweet victory against then-No. 14 University of Louisville Sunday erased the lingering sting of defeat from last week’s fall to Quinnipiac University.

The Bears (5-6, Ivy 1-2) failed to defend their turf against the Bobcats (8-5) Wednesday, losing 2-1. But Sunday brought a far better result as Bruno clinched a 2-1 overtime win over Louisville (10-4). The victory was arguably the Bears’ most significant in recent years.

 

Quinnipiac 2, Brown 1

Coming off a victory against Harvard, captain Avery Burns ’14 described the contest against Quinnipiac as a “winnable game.” But the outcome fell short of those expectations, as the Bobcats proved scrappier foes than anticipated.

As soon as the match began, Bruno’s rivals pounced. Quinnipiac’s Jess Rusin drew first blood, netting a goal only three minutes into the half.

The Bears retaliated by stepping up offensive pressure. Their efforts bore fruit in the eighth minute of play when star forward Meghan O’Donnell ’15 scored off an assist from Clayton Christus ’15. The two sides finished the period tied 1-1.

With neither team seizing an advantage, they remained deadlocked through the second half.

But in the end, the Bobcats eked out the win: Quinnipiac’s Jennalise Taylor capitalized on a penalty corner to score the game-winning goal in the 50th minute. Despite a last-minute surge by the Bears, the score remained 2-1 when time expired.

 

Brown 2, Louisville 1 (OT)

Between Wednesday and Sunday, Bruno shook off the disappointing loss. When it came time to host Louisville — the highest-ranked opponent the team has played this season — the team was focused and ready to go.

From the start, Louisville lived up to its formidable reputation. In only seven minutes, the Cardinals fired three shots, the last of which resulted in a goal.

“They really put us under a ton of pressure,” said Head Coach Jill Reeve. “Tons of shots, tons of corners.”

Brown cranked up the intensity from that point forward, grinding it out against the highly-touted visitors. Swings in momentum defined much of the first half, as the teams took turns pummelling the opposing keepers with shots.

At last, the Bears got a chance to show off their penalty corner unit. In the 30th minute, Torie Stearns ’14 launched a penalty corner to Alexis Miller ’16, who returned the ball in time for Stearns to score. At halftime, Bruno and Louisville were tied 1-1.

The second period proved an exercise in persistence for the Bears. Louisville pulled no punches, and it took a mighty effort on Bruno’s part to hold the line. Goalkeeper Shannon McSweeney ’15 defended the net masterfully, saving 11 of Louisville’s 12 total shots on goal. Reeve later described McSweeney’s performance as “world-class.”

By stymieing Louisville’s offense, the Bears forced the match into sudden-death overtime. Bruno soon received another penalty corner opportunity, as Anna Masini ’16 passed in to Katarina Angus ’17, who clubbed the ball over the Cardinals’ keeper to seal the win.

Reeve was very pleased with the outcome of the game. “It’s huge,” she said. “I honestly don’t remember the last time Brown beat a ranked team.”

“Our team’s been in a slow build for the last couple of years,” Reeve continued. “I think that a win like this showcases all the work we’ve done.”

The Bears will next host Princeton, the 2012 Ivy League champions, Saturday.

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