Senior day spoiled in overtime for women’s lacrosse

Cornell takes down Bruno at home, complicating team’s path to conference tournament berth

Sports Staff Writer
Monday, April 14, 2014

After starting off the season 7-0, the women’s lacrosse team has dropped four of its last six. Bruno hopes to turn things around Saturday afternoon against No. 9 Penn, which currently sits atop the Ivy League standings.

The women’s lacrosse team blew a four-goal lead over Cornell Saturday in a heartbreaking 11-10 overtime loss on Senior Day. With its third conference loss — its second by just one goal — Brown (9-4, 2-3 Ivy) falls into a three-way tie for fifth place in the Ivy League. 

The game started with a flurry of scoring. Co-captain Grace Healy ’14 fired in Bruno’s first goal less than a minute into the contest. Though Cornell (6-6, 3-2) responded seconds later with a goal of its own, the Bears retaliated with three straight in the next two minutes — two from Kerianne Hunt ’17 and one from Danielle Mastro ’14 — to take a 4-1 lead. Six minutes into play, the Big Red struck again to narrow Brown’s lead, but Bruno continued to fire back. Co-captain Abby Bunting ’15 and Lauren Toy ’16 notched goals to extend the lead to four, the largest of the game.

The rest of the first half was not so kind to the Bears. Hunt managed one more tally before the end of the period to complete her first collegiate hat trick, but four Cornell goals pulled the Big Red back into the game, chopping the once-sizable Bruno lead to a single goal, 7-6.

The Big Red gained its first lead of the game at the start of the second half, with two consecutive goals in the first ten minutes. Mastro responded with her second tally and co-captain Bre Hudgins ’14 followed with her first goal of the contest, allowing the Bears to regain a 9-8 lead with about 18 minutes left. But Cornell would not go away, scoring twice to steal back a 10-9 lead with nine minutes remaining.

Neither team could find the back of the net as the clock wound down. With the Bears pushing to get back into the game, Hudgins earned a free position shot with less than 30 seconds left. Just as she has all season, Hudgins capitalized on Brown’s final chance in regulation. The senior’s clutch goal knotted the score and pushed the game into overtime, eliciting ecstatic reactions from fans and teammates alike.

The first five and half minutes of the six-minute overtime saw two Brown shots and none for Cornell. But Meghan O’Brien ’15 fouled with just over one minute remaining, giving Cornell’s leading goal-scorer Lindsay Toppe a chance at a free position shot. Toppe fired the ball into the back of Bruno’s net to give the Big Red the 11-10 win.

Over the course of the game, forcing turnovers proved to be a crucial element of Bruno’s success. Fourteen Cornell turnovers, four caused by co-captain Erin Roos ’14, allowed Bruno to take defensive control at many points. But Cornell countered with a 15-10 edge in draw controls, which are usually a strong component of Bruno’s game.

A Senior Day ceremony followed the game, celebrating the careers of Bruno’s eight seniors: Hudgins, Mastro, Roos, Healy, Abbey Van Horne ’14, Lucinda Caldwell ’14, Whitney Flynn ’14 and Marissa Dale ’14. Head Coach Keely McDonald ’00 called the class of 2014 a “rebuilding” class for the program. The group features the Ivy League’s leader in points, Mastro, third in goals, Hudgins, and second in draw controls, Healy.

The Bears travel to Philadelphia next weekend to take on No. 9 Penn (7-3, 3-0) in their penultimate game of the regular season.