Sports

First-years, defense impress in field hockey team’s 2-0 start

O’Donnell ’15 notches three of five team goals, while defense surrenders only single tally

By
Senior Staff Writer
Monday, September 8, 2014

Midfielder Liza Green ’15 slaps a shot on frame. Green and the women’s field hockey team have started the season off on the right foot with a two-win opening weekend. The Bears followed a 3-0 rout of Bryant University with a tight 2-1 win over the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

After a disappointing 2013 campaign, the field hockey team opened 2014 with a bang, defeating Bryant University (0-4) at home and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell (2-2) on the road.

The Bears (2-0) inaugurated their year Saturday with a strong showing against the Bulldogs. Bruno opened last season against Bryant as well, and it bode poorly for the rest of the year when it dropped the game 4-3. But the Bears claimed their revenge this weekend, riding a goal and an assist from forward Meghan O’Donnell ’15 and six saves from goalie Shannon McSweeney ’15 to a 3-0 victory.

Head Coach Jill Reeve said she felt the Bears could have performed even better than they showed. “It took us about a half to settle in,” she said, adding that her squad “played beautifully” in the second half.

Sunday’s matchup was a bit of a closer scrape, but another pair of goals from O’Donnell helped the Bears to a 2-1 victory. The Riverhawks entered the game having already matched their win total from 2013, a season in which they went 2-16, but Bruno was able to dispatch them in a comeback win.

Reeve said she felt the Riverhawks “were giving us everything they had,” but praised her team’s “tremendous effort.”

In a weekend of great performances, Reeve singled out McSweeney and defender Katarina Angus ’17 for their efforts. She complimented Angus’ “poise and calmness” at the back of the defense and said McSweeney played like “an all-star” and “really kept us in the game.”

Reflecting on the weekend as a whole, Reeve said she was happy with the outcomes but expects to see even more from Bruno.

“They were really tough wins, and I’m glad for that,” she said. “I think that’s something we can build off of.”

Haley Alvarez ’15, a former Herald staff writer, said the Bears “really just outhustled both teams.”

The Bears are now 2-0 for the first time under Reeve’s leadership, a feat Alvarez described as “very important.”

A strong start is certainly great for the Bears, but they opened last season 2-1 before dropping 10 of their last 14 games. Maintaining their good form as they enter Ivy League play — which begins Sept. 20 against Columbia — will be key.

Reeve acknowledged that her team has areas in need of improvement. “We did well, but I think there are some things we can build on.”

The Bears return to action Sunday, when they host Georgetown University.

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