Field hockey’s slide continues with winless road weekend

Despite best record since 2006, Bears sit at 1-5 in conference after losing to Penn and St. Joseph’s

Sports Staff Writer
Monday, November 3, 2014

Hannah Rogers ’16 watches the play. Despite her three goals and two assists this season, the Bears are seventh in the Ivy League in scoring.

Ever since superstar forward Meghan O’Donnell ’15 eclipsed the career goals record and the women’s field hockey team guaranteed a winning record against Holy Cross in torrential rain, the Bears’ play has continued to be a little under the weather.

Losses this weekend against Penn (8-8, 3-3 Ivy) and St. Joseph’s University (9-9) give Brown (9-7, 1-5) its third straight loss, fifth away loss and fifth conference loss on the season. In an otherwise successful season, the Bears’ away and Ivy records have left some room for improvement.

Lucy Green ’17 gave Brown its lone goal against the Quakers in a game that it dominated, accruing 16 shots on goal over the course of the contest. After going down a goal three minutes into the game, Green responded by tipping in an Emily Arciero ’16 pass off of a corner play. The play settled down for a bit before Elise Tilton converted on Penn’s third corner in under a minute.

Brown went into all-out attack mode in the second half but could not hit the twine thanks to impressive goalkeeping by Allison Weisenfels. The Bears rifled off seven shots in the final 10 minutes as they controlled the play and looked for an equalizer, but were not able to put anything past Weisenfels as they fell 2-1.

Head Coach Jill Reeve continued to move players around and use substitutions to try and catch Penn off guard and — with Brown dominating Penn for the majority of the game, including the second half — her adjustments seemed to do everything besides put the ball in the back of the net.

“We have positioned and repositioned players where they will be most effective given their own specific skill sets and physical gifts,” Reeve said.

The Bears went down early again against St. Joseph’s, as Tori Popinko notched her fourth goal of the season courtesy of a nice centering pass from Jordan Martin that she calmly finished. The Hawks were able to get another goal 15 minutes before the end of the first half, thanks to a Melissa Herd goal from a corner.

Green was able to get her second goal of the weekend and her third of the season to cut the lead to one. The goal was off a corner again, with Arciero and O’Donnell getting the assists.

“Lucy has really grown in her position this season,” Reeve said. “She’s comfortable in the middle of the field and positions well in the pocket. Lucy is an intuitive player with excellent maneuverability. She makes key interceptions and creates a lot of dangerous counter-attacks through the midfield.”

But the Bears could not finish the comeback, as a Jordan Martin goal with 15 minutes left all but put Bruno away. Goalie Shannon McSweeney ’15 stopped seven of the 10 shots that she faced as she added to her career saves record.

The Bears’ final game is Saturday against Yale (2-14, 0-6) — the only team to have a worse Ivy League record than Brown this year. Despite its poor play all season, the Yale team will look to Brown as its last chance to get a conference win, so the Bears need to be ready for a determined opponent.

“Our team has improved tremendously this season, but I don’t think they’ve reached their maximum potential,” Reeve said. “I think they want to put together the best performance possible to honor their teammates, the game and Brown as their final effort this season.”