Sports

Hudgins ’14 leads women’s lacrosse past Lions

Goalie Kellie Roddy ’15 leads Ivy League with impressive 65.4 save percentage this year

By
Sports Staff Writer
Monday, March 3, 2014

Women’s lacrosse team captain Bre Hudgins ’14 came into her last Ivy opener ready to play, scoring four goals and one assist in the Bears’ 9-6 win Saturday over Columbia (1-1, 0-1 Ivy).

Bruno (3-0, 1-0) has never lost to Columbia in its history and continued the streak to extend its undefeated season.

When the Bears defeated Iona College and Sacred Heart University last weekend, draw control domination allowed Brown to control the offensive game. The strong and eager Bruno defense was barely utilized.

But the Columbia game was a different story. The Lions won five of seven draw controls in the first half and the teams nearly matched each other in shots taken throughout the game — Brown shooting 20 to Columbia’s 19. Instead of completely overwhelming the opposing offense as it had in early wins, Bruno had to depend on strong performances on both ends of the field to earn the win.

Hudgins’ strong start earned her a hat trick in just 11 minutes, before anybody else on the field had scored.  This was her second hat trick in as many games.

“We were really looking forward to starting our league games,” Hudgins said. “We were really focused all week. … We were just ready to get out on the field and play.”

Lauren Toy ’16 added a fourth unanswered goal off a free position shot to put the Bears in a comfortable position, ahead 4-0. Columbia retaliated, scoring twice in the last five minutes of the first period to cut Bruno’s lead in half. Both teams took nine shots before the game’s midpoint, but goalie Kellie Roddy ’15 and her defensive unit successfully protected the net to prevent the Lions from taking the lead.

Brown’s attack was vital in generating a strong defensive performance. “Our attack really gave us the energy and momentum to perform defensively,” Toy said.

Danielle Mastro ’14 got Brown off to a quick start in the second half, scoring less than two minutes into the period to widen the Bears’ lead to 5-2. Toy added her second goal of the game less than a minute later off an assist from Hudgins.

Columbia again retaliated from a four-point deficit with two consecutive goals, as the Lions’ Paige Cuscovitch notched her second of four tallies for Columbia. Janie Gion ’15 answered with her first goal of the game four minutes later to increase Brown’s lead to three, 7-4.

Though the margin never dropped below two, the Bears had to battle late in the second half to deter a Lion comeback. Columbia tightened the game to 7-5 before co-captain Grace Healy ’14 and Hudgins scored two consecutive goals to bury their conference foe for good. Hudgins’ goal was her ninth of the season, tying her for second place in the Ivy League. Columbia scored its last goal after the game had been decided, a free position shot at Bruno’s net with 20 seconds left to play to make the final score 9-6.

“We’ve made it a focus to make sure we’re supporting each other and backing each other up no matter what,” Hudgins said. “We know can take risks and go for interceptions and take these drives.”

The win is made all the more impressive by the fact that the team competed without forward Abby Bunting ’15.  Bunting sat out with a foot injury sustained against Sacred Heart.

In a game with no penalties but 34 total fouls, Bruno went a perfect 9-of-9 in attempts to clear the ball from its territory. Roddy made 12 saves for the Bears, bringing her Ivy-best season save percentage to 65.4. Roddy also holds the lowest goals against average of all Ivy goalies, a minuscule 4.02. In the other cage, Columbia goalie Colleen Packer’s save percentage was driven up to 10.00 by Bruno’s offense, ranking her last among Ivy League goalies.

Brown’s nine goals against Columbia brought its season total to 45, first in the conference and seven more than the next team, Harvard. The Bears rank fourth in shots taken, demonstrating their ability to score and capitalize more often than other teams.

The win is a crucial starting point for Bruno’s march toward a potential Ivy League title.

“Ivies are always a battle,” Toy said. “Every Ivy game is a challenge, it’s always about who brings the most energy on that day.”