Sports

Late missteps unravel comeback attempt

Abby Bunting ’16 leads Bruno’s scoring efforts, notches hat trick against Harvard Saturday

By
Senior Staff Writer
Monday, April 6, 2015

Four Bears were able to get past the Quakers' goalie on Saturday afternoon, but the team's offensive efforts were not enough to secure a win.

The women’s lacrosse team’s campaign for an Ivy victory stumbled Saturday as the Bears (5-5, 0-4 Ivy) fell to Harvard 9-7. Despite a second-half surge, Bruno could not make up a first-half deficit to clinch a win. With only three conference games left, the Bears will be hard-pressed to break into the top half of league standings in order to qualify for the Ivy League tournament.

“We definitely felt we put up a good fight for the whole game. It was just that we know we can do better,” said attacker Lauren Toy ’16.

The team approaches the game as “a bunch of little plays,” said defender Julia Carrellas ’15, instead of as “a big 60-minute chunk of time.” As a result, Bruno focuses on performing technically and consistently by finishing shots or winning ground balls, she said.

Despite the squad’s depth, five of the seven goals came from either Toy or Abby Bunting ’15, who were Bruno’s only scorers in the first half. Though Harvard (5-4, 3-1 Ivy) got on the board first, Bunting evened up the score soon after, kicking off a high-scoring day.

“There were some small plays that didn’t end up going our way, and we didn’t capitalize on some situations that we should have,” Toy said.

Following Bunting’s initial goal, Harvard took a 3-1 lead before Toy responded with her first-half contribution. Harvard scored two more goals before the buzzer to take a 5-2 lead at the half. The Crimson’s Megan Hennessey went on a scoring spree, notching a hat trick in the first half alone. Bruno more than doubled its scoring output in the second half compared to the first but could never successfully steal the lead from Harvard.

“All the Ivy teams are very competitive, so you always know … it’s going to be a battle for 60 minutes,” Toy said. “Someone can be up by a lot and then that can change in the last minute, so you have to fight the whole time.”

The Crimson widened its lead to begin the second half, scoring once again to outpace the Bears by four goals. Bunting retaliated with her second goal of the day to inch Bruno back to within three. Harvard scored once more before three consecutive goals from Toy, Bunting and Dianne Vitkus ’16 put the Bears behind by just one and into contention for the win. With over twelve minutes left to play, it seemed as though the Bears could eke out a win.

“We started to lose the draw controls and hand some turnovers at the end and that’s when the momentum started to shift away from us, Carrellas said, adding, “It’s really those small technical plays.”

But the Crimson scored twice more to widen the margin to three, as Julia Glynn notched Harvard’s second hat trick of the day. Janie Gion ’15 scored Bruno’s last goal with 11 seconds left on the clock, ending the game with a two-goal deficit.

“When you’re down by only a goal or two and then the game ends, you wish you had more time, but that just means that we need to get those goals earlier or do the little things and make those plays earlier on,” Toy said. “You only get 60 minutes, so that’s just how it goes.”

“It was a consistent effort — we just couldn’t close the gap when it came down to the wire,” Carrellas said.

After this weekend, the Bears are the only winless squad left in the Ivy League, despite playing both first-place Penn and third-place Harvard to close two-goal losses. Surprisingly, Bruno played tighter games against the Quakers and Crimson than it did against fifth-place Yale.

In fact, the stats show a team closely matched with its opponents. Saturday, the Bears actually outshot Harvard, captured six more ground balls than the Crimson and had a higher clear percentage. Kelly Roddy ’15 made four saves in goal, exactly matching Harvard’s Kelly Weis.

“We did a good job of following the game plan,” Toy said.” Defensively … we knew what players we needed to shut down and we did a pretty good job of that. In our attack, we knew that they have more second defense and that we needed quick ball movement to go against that.”

The Bears will take a break from Ivy action Wednesday when they play at Albany but will face off against Columbia Saturday in their last home league game of the season.