Sports

Women’s lacrosse rolls in first weekend of season

Bruno’s offensive outburst features several hat tricks and 36 goals in strong home openers

By
Sports Staff Writer
Monday, February 24, 2014

The women’s lacrosse team opened its 2014 season in strong form at home this weekend, taking down Iona College (0-1) and Sacred Heart University (0-1) by identical 13-goal margins. Brown (2-0) downed Iona 17-4 Saturday and Sacred Heart 19-6 Sunday, posting impressive stats across the board.

“We’re all on the same page this season,” said Kerianne Hunt ’17. “We work really well together.”

 

Saturday: Brown 17, Iona 4

A strong Brown defense anchored by goalie Kellie Roddy ’15 suffocated Iona — even as Bruno’s offense dominated the game — giving the Gaels very few scoring chances and securing the Bears a commanding win in their season opener. Many players contributed to the offensive onslaught Saturday, an early demonstration of the Bears’ depth. Danielle Mastro ’14 led the way with four tallies, followed by Lauren Toy ’16, who claimed a hat trick. Hunt, Abby Bunting ’15, Bre Hudgins ’14 and Grace Healy ’14 scored two apiece.

“We’re so pumped to see everybody score out there,” Hudgins said. “It makes everybody even more excited to go to goal.”

Mastro scored the first goal to give the Bears an early lead, which rose to 3-0 by the game’s fifth minute. The Gaels did not get a shot until more than four minutes in and barely controlled the ball at any point in the first half, taking eight shots compared to Bruno’s 21. Iona finally breached the Bears’ defense to get on the board midway through the half, but the tally hardly put a dent in the Gaels’ 5-1 deficit.

“Our defense really works as a unit,” Hunt said. “We play got-your-back lacrosse — you always have each other’s help.”

Toy capped off the first half with a goal two seconds before the buzzer, giving the Bears a 10-2 advantage.

Head Coach Keely McDonald ’00 kept the team fresh in anticipation of the two-game weekend, frequently rotating players in and out from the bench. Brown controlled 10 of the 12 draws in the first half and retrieved 12 ground balls to Iona’s five. A few tough calls against the Bears did little to slow them down, though the officials drew complaints from a home field crowd.

Hunt struck early in the second half to increase the lead to 11-2. Five minutes later, Toy snagged Bruno’s 12th tally to seal victory under the NCAA’s 10-goal mercy rule. Toy scored twice in the second half, proving her value in a starting position after playing in only eight games as a rookie.

Brown scored six unanswered goals before Iona got on the board for the first time since the first half, making the score 16-3. McDonald started to rotate in subs midway through the half, pulling Roddy and giving many rookies their first taste of college action. Both teams scored once more to make the final score 17-4.

The Bears limited Iona’s Erin Pugh — a high-profile recruit who is expected to drive the Gael offense this year — to two goals on the game. They outshot the Gaels 35-12, allowing Iona just four looks in the second half. Bruno went 12-of-12 in attempts to clear the ball and earned 15 draw controls to Iona’s seven.

 

Sunday: Brown 19, Sacred Heart 6

Brown allowed Sacred Heart only one shot on goal in the first half of the Bears’ second game of the weekend. Again, the Bruno offense dominated possession, with Healy and Hudgins combining to win 12 of 15 draw controls. Healy fired the first goal of the game, with Hudgins following her example a minute later. Hudgins’ early goal was her 100th career tally, a career milestone for the senior co-captain. The Pioneers retaliated with their lone goal of the half to make it a 2-1 game — the closest it would get, as the Bears rebounded and ran away with the score.

Richael Walsh ’16 scored twice within a minute as the Bears continued to overwhelm the Pioneers’ defense. It took Healy only 15 minutes to collect her game-high four goals. Mastro scored Brown’s 11th goal to trigger the mercy rule for the second time in two games. With Healy, Hudgins, Walsh, Sarah Peters ’17, Mastro, Toy, Janie Gion ’15 and Ali Kim ’17 all netting goals for the Bears, the first period ended with Brown up 13-1.

“We go off each others’ talents and read each other. … It’s a team effort,” Hunt said. She added that the offense moves quickly and communicates well, making room for many plays and scoring opportunities.

The period’s only negative outcome came when Bunting, another co-captain and key contributor, suffered a foot injury in the first five minutes and had to miss the rest of the game. The injury will be evaluated this week.

Brown held Sacred Heart scoreless for the last 25 minutes of the first half and the first 11 of the second half, with the Bears scoring 13 unanswered goals over this stretch. Toy scored her second goal of the game and Hudgins completed a hat trick in the second half before the Pioneers mounted a small comeback attempt.

With the Bears playing their second line, replacing Roddy with Victoria Holland ’16, the Pioneers scored five goals. Bruno scored six on the half, as Toy joined Hudgins and Healy with a hat trick, her second in as many games. The second half gave Dianne Vitkus ’16 and Julia Carrellas ’15 the chance to each add a point to the total tally. A Pioneer goal in the final seconds gave Bruno a resounding 19-6 victory.

The Bears will look to carry momentum from the two blowouts into their clash against Columbia in New York next weekend, the crucial opening game of their Ivy schedule.

“We have clearly defined our goals this season and are ready to take it one game at a time,” Hudgins said. “Staying in the moment and focusing on what we’re doing — the little plays, the hustle plays that really define the program — makes us so successful.”