Sports

Field hockey seizes momentum with two wins

Brown beats Lehigh and Providence College, gets on track to post first winning record since 2006

By
Contributing Writer
Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Brown field hockey player Clayton Christus ’15 fends for a ground ball in preparation to score a goal against Lehigh in Sunday’s suspenseful match, which ended in a 4-2 victory.

After a passive loss Wednesday to Quinnipiac (5-8), the field hockey team needed to bounce back in a big way this weekend against Lehigh University and — more importantly — against crosstown power Providence College (9-6).

And bounce back they did, defeating Lehigh 4-2 Sunday and PC 2-0 Monday.

Goals from Katherine Kallergis ’18 and Jaclyn Torres ’17 propelled Bruno (8-3, 1-2 Ivy) to a win over its neighbor. Shannon McSweeney ’15 was under siege the whole game — PC had 15 penalty corners to Brown’s two and outshot Brown 32-7 — but the senior managed to close the door on the potent Friars, finishing with an incredible 19 saves.

McSweeney “was rock solid against Providence,” said Head Coach Jill Reeve. “She is the commander in the backfield, and she deserved this shutout.”

Already the record holder for the most saves made in a single season for Brown field hockey, McSweeney is approaching a more significant milestone: the most career saves for a Brown goalie in field hockey.

“It’s sort of funny because it would be nice to pass that mark, but at the end of the day, the number of saves doesn’t mean much,” McSweeney said. “I’m fortunate in that I’ve been able to play for four years and that’s a huge piece of it.”

Kallergis opened the scoring with 50 seconds left in the first half, taking a pass from Meghan O’Donnell ’15 and squeaking it past the sliding Providence goalkeeper. It was Kallergis’s first career goal and the ninth assist from O’Donnell, who now ranks tied for ninth in the Ivy League in points.

“I was so excited to get my first goal, especially against such a good team” such as PC, Kallergis said. “It put us on the front foot and set the pace for the rest of the game.”

“Our forwards are dangerous,” Reeve said. “Their speed and unpredictability are difficult to manage. As the season has progressed, they are finding each other more and creating deadly combination plays.”

PC started the second half hot and carried that momentum for the majority of the period until Hannah Rogers ’16 settled an O’Donnell through ball and slid the ball to Torres, who put it into the back of the net.

With PC down two goals, it pressed higher and higher up the field, only to be stonewalled by a combination of Brown defenders, including Katarina Angus ’17, Clayton Christus ’15 and Anna Masini ’16.

“I owe everything about my performance today to the people back there with me, not only our defenders, but also our defensive corner unit and the mids who come back in defensive roles,” McSweeney said. “They’re the people who pressure the other team and allow me to make saves. What today came down to was the defense getting enough pressure on the ball to allow for a predictable shot, which makes my job easy.”

The game marked the first time since 2010 that the Bears have beaten PC, also marking the first time that any of the players on this year’s team had experienced a win against the Friars.

“I think the win over Providence was huge for so many reasons,” McSweeney said. “It wasn’t necessarily the result that was so significant for us, but the way that we played the game. We had a really outstanding team effort for 70 minutes that showed exactly what we are capable of accomplishing together.”

Against Lehigh (4-10), Brown relied on three unanswered goals from Emma Quigley ’18, Alexis Miller ’16 and Christus to overcome the Mountain Hawks.

After 16 minutes, Brown went down a goal, courtesy of a tip in from Lehigh forward Amanda Granger. But the Bears battled back: Quigley latched onto a Kallergis shot to put home her first goal in a Brown uniform and tie the game at one apiece.

Lehigh was able to scare Bruno after Miller’s and Christus’ goals. Jackie Renda slotted home a penalty stroke to pull the Mountain Hawks to within one, but Rogers answered back with a goal to put the Bears two ahead and left no room for any upset dreams Lehigh might have had.

With six games to play, Bruno notched two wins this weekend that put the team in a good spot to achieve its first winning record since 2006. But the road ahead will not be easy: Two of the Bears’ next three games are against Ivy League rivals Princeton (3-8, 2-1) and Cornell (8-3, 3-0).

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