Sports

Sports Roundup: April 14, 2014

By
Sports Editor
Monday, April 14, 2014

Men’s crew

Despite Brown victories in four of six races in Bruno’s home waters this weekend, Crimson rowers bested the Bears in the all-important varsity eight to capture the Stein Cup for the fourth consecutive year this weekend.

The battle for the Cup remained tight throughout the race, but Harvard grabbed an early lead and slowly built it as the race progressed. A one-seat Crimson edge at the 500-meter mark became a three-seat lead at the midpoint. Bruno fell a full length behind by the 1,500-meter mark and crossed the finish line at 5 minutes, 51.2 seconds, missing out on the Cup by 4.9 seconds.

The setback in the varsity eight was partially offset by victories in the second, third and fourth varsity squads. Bruno’s second varsity narrowly topped its Crimson counterpart, crossing the finish line less than a second ahead of Harvard, while the Bears’ third varsity blew its opponent out of the water by a 20-second margin. The fourth varsity race was decided in favor of Brown by six seconds.

Harvard’s only other victory of the day came in the freshman eight, where the Crimson used a large early advantage to coast to a 5.9-second win. Bruno again showed its depth when its second freshman boat dominated Harvard by 30 seconds.

 

Women’s crew

The women’s crew team traveled to Gold River, Calif., this weekend to square off with national competition at the Lake Natoma Classic. Despite winning eight of nine races across the three sessions, No. 6 Bruno fell in a decisive varsity eight bout against No. 1 University of California at Berkeley to take second place at the event.

Each session included a varsity eight, second varsity and varsity four race, and the results combined to form a session ranking for each team. Rankings from each of the three sessions — Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning — were totaled to comprise a final team score. Bruno garnered three points in each of Saturday’s sessions and two in the Sunday session for a total of eight team points — one point short of its counterparts from Berkeley.

A 6-0 first day included narrow wins for all three boats in the morning session against No. 7 Stanford University and the University of Kansas, as well as sizeable victories in all the races of the afternoon session against No. 20 University of San Diego and the University of Oklahoma.

In the morning, Stanford proved worthy competition for the Bears and was the only opponent all day to finish within seven seconds of the speedy Bruno rowers. Brown’s varsity eight crossed the line in 6:26.0 to edge the Cardinal by 2.9 seconds, while the second varsity squeaked out a one-second win, posting a 6:33.2 finish. The Bears secured a more comfortable victory in the varsity four, finishing in 7:17.4 — seven seconds in front of their next opponent. Kansas never finished within 25 seconds of the Bears.

In the afternoon, San Diego posed a greater challenge than did Oklahoma, but neither could stay with Bruno for a whole race. Despite posting much slower times than in the morning — likely because they had comfortable leads — the Bears’ varsity eight, second varsity and varsity four each sped to victories of 7.1, 13.8 and 13.4 seconds, respectively.

In the Sunday session against Berkeley and No. 4 University of Southern California, Bruno’s varsity four earned first place by a considerable margin while the second varsity bested the Golden State opponents by four seconds. Sunday’s varsity eight was the only race the Bears dropped all weekend, as Berkeley crossed the finish in 6:23.0 to outstrip Bruno’s 6:27.4. Though Brown won two of the session’s three events, varsity eight was more heavily weighted in the session rankings, so Berkeley won the session and thus the Classic.

 

Softball

The softball team continued its monumental slide this week, dropping a doubleheader Wednesday against Penn as well as successive twin bills at Harvard Saturday and Sunday.

The 0-6 week was rooted in the offense’s inability to put runs on the board, and this week’s games extend Bruno’s losing streak to 23 games.

After an eight-run mercy rule ended Wednesday’s first contest after five innings at a score of 8-0, Penn looked poised to repeat the dominance in the late game. The Quakers (12-15, 7-4 Ivy) scored three runs in the first and added single tallies in the third and fourth. But Bruno (2-26, 0-12) started to mount a rally in the top of the fifth when Christina Andrews ’17 delivered a two-out, bases-loaded single to right field. The base knock plated pinch runners Kristen Watterlond ’14 and Jen Kries ’14.

After a passed ball in the seventh allowed a run to score and cut the deficit, Bruno put runners on the corners with two outs. A fly ball off the bat of Trista Chavez ’15 found the Penn shortstop’s glove to end the rally. The game ended 5-3.

Saturday’s contests were almost identical, with Brown falling 4-1 and 4-0. Three-run outbursts gave the Crimson (21-11, 7-0) an early lead in each game, while Harvard’s dominance in the circle proved too much for a weak Bruno offensive attack.

The weekend wrapped up with another doubleheader against Harvard Sunday in which Bruno fell 6-4 and 5-2.

The morning game brought more of the same Crimson dominance after Harvard plated three runs in each of the first two innings.

But trailing 6-0 in the fifth, the Bears began to crawl back. After two quick outs, Bruno used three singles, a walk and a Harvard error to plate two runs and load the bases. But pitcher Gabrielle Ruiz worked out of the jam by inducing a groundout by Casey Fisher ’17. Two more runs came home in the sixth when Chavez ripped a double to the right-center gap. Sensing a Bears comeback, Harvard turned to Morgan Groom, who silenced the Bears in the final inning and sealed her team’s 6-4 victory.

Just as it had done in the three previous games, Harvard took the early advantage in game two of Sunday’s twin killing. Leah Nakashima ’17 was back in the circle for Bruno, and Harvard tagged the first-year for five runs. As it had all week, the Bears’ offense lacked the firepower to answer the deficit, as the squad dropped the conference match 5-2.

 

Women’s water polo

Ranked third in the Collegiate Water Polo Association South Division, the women’s water polo team stormed through its side of the bracket this weekend, defeating six-seed Mercyhurst University (9-14, 0-4 CWPA) and two-seed Bucknell University (12-12, 3-2) to reach the championship for the third consecutive year. Just as they have the last two seasons, the Bears (18-15, 3-2) fell in the title game 11-4, this time to top-ranked Princeton (29-1, 5-0).

After dropping Mercyhurst 14-6 a week ago, Bruno entered its first match of the tournament with confidence. Leading scorer Kate Woods ’14 netted nearly identical close-range goals to help Bruno to a 4-2 first-quarter advantage. Shannon Crowley ’17 added a game-high three goals, and the offense was more than enough for goaltender Sarah Shin ’14, who blocked eight shots, allowing just one goal in the second and third quarters combined. The Bears cruised to a 14-5 win.

Bucknell earned a higher seed than Bruno by outlasting the Bears 7-6 last week. But Brown excelled when it counted. A six-goal explosion — with contributions from Woods, Emily McNamara ’14, Olivia Santiago ’16 and Liz Rosen ’15 — in the first quarter propelled the Bears to a three-goal lead and proved to be the decisive run of the game.

After the Bears scored three unanswered to open the second, the squad held an insurmountable 9-3 lead. The Bison dented the lead throughout the rest of the game but never got closer than two goals from the championship-bound Bears.

The tournament success halted when the Tigers entered the pool. Princeton dominated the first quarter to take a 3-0 lead. While the Bears were able to trim the lead to 5-3 by the half, the tournament’s top seed used a whopping 5-0 third-quarter advantage to pull away for the South Division crown. Woods again led Brown in goals with two, but Marisa Kolokotronis ’17 and Sarah Presant ’14 were the only other Bears to muster goals, with one apiece. The 11-4 decision ensured a second-place finish for Brown.

The team awaits the announcement of its seeding for the CWPA Eastern Championships April 25-27.