Sports

Fresh faces topple Bryant in Ocean State Cup

Hudgins ’18 steps into sister’s shoes, starts career with two goals in win over Bulldogs

By
Senior Staff Writer
Friday, February 27, 2015

The women’s lacrosse team started its season on a high note last weekend with a win over Bryant in the Ocean State Cup and expects to sustain its momentum this weekend with matchups against Iona and Central Connecticut State.

Bryant “was a great benchmark,” said Head Coach Keely McDonald ’00. “We’re always focused on our composure as well as our team play defensively, so we’ll work on those as we go forward.”

The program must fill gaps left by the slew of talented athletes who graduated last year, most notably Bre Hudgins ’14, whose 40 goals powered Brown to some tough wins — including a historic victory over Princeton. But Hudgins’ presence at Stevenson Field will not be lost entirely: The alum joined the team this year as a volunteer coach, providing valuable insights for the current players, McDonald said.

“Even when she was a player, she was kind of a coach,” Janie Gion ’15 said of Hudgins. “It’s really great to have her eye on the field and valuable to hear what she has to say.”

The squad also lost offensive weapons Danielle Mastro ’14 and Grace Healy ’14, who fueled Bruno’s offense last season with 30 and 23 goals, respectively.

But as newcomers step up and returning players further perfect their games, the Bears seem poised for success. They will be counting on Kellie Roddy ’15 to replicate her impressive play in net last season, which ranked her 12th in the nation for goals against average. Lauren Toy ’16, who started seven games last year, came out on fire last weekend, recording a hat trick in Bruno’s season-opening victory.

“It’s a totally fresh team this year,” McDonald said. “We have a ton of freshmen and sophomores playing significant roles for us. … They are going to do that all season long and will step up all season long.”

Yuna Hur ’18 impressed during her collegiate debut, notching three goals last weekend against the Bulldogs. McDonald praised her as “a strong player with awesome game sense and general awareness.” Marissa Hudgins ’18 followed in her older sister Bre Hudgins’ footsteps, scoring twice against Bryant.

The last time the Bears faced Iona (2-1) and Central Connecticut State (1-1), they won by large margins. Bruno demolished the Gaels by a score of 17-4 and downed the Blue Devils 21-9. McDonald views these nonconference games as opportunities to “see how we match up” and figure out “where we are and where we need to be.”

While it is unlikely that this competition will pose the same challenges that Bruno’s Ivy foes will bring, the squad emphasizes consistency and competitiveness in every game and at every practice.

“We are highly, highly focused on each athlete getting better every day,” McDonald said.

The Bears jump-started their 2013-2014 season with a seven-game winning streak — a feat they would be happy to replicate. Last year, they dropped three of their Ivy games by a one-goal margin, a disappointing result for a talented team. They hope this year will be different.

“We want to get to the Ivy tournament and win,” Gion said.