Sports

Stagnant offense dooms field hockey in final game

Miller ’16, Rogers ’16 each contribute goal in final game of their collegiate careers against Bulldogs

By
Senior Staff Writer
Monday, November 9, 2015

Hannah Rogers ’16 looks for the ball from one of her teammates. Rogers’ goal late in the second half of the contest against Yale left the senior with eight total goals and a team-high 19 points in her final season.

After the women’s field hockey team took down Dartmouth in its second Ivy League game of the year, the quest for winning two conference games for the first time in three years began.

Unfortunately for the Bears, that search will have to wait for the 2016 campaign. In the final game of 2015, Bruno fell to Yale 6-2 — one of its toughest Ivy defeats of the season.

The Bulldogs came out strong in the first half, scoring two quick goals before the 15-minute mark. Carol Middough scored an unassisted goal after 11 minutes, and Noelle Villa picked up her second goal of the season off a corner just over three minutes later to put Bruno down early.

The Bears’ tendency to give up goals in quick succession reared its ugly head again, but Brown was able to weather the storm for about 15 minutes.

One minute and 17 seconds after the 30-minute mark, Yale struck for the third time in the game courtesy of a Lily Smith goal from open play. The Bulldogs scored their fourth goal a minute and 12 seconds later thanks to Middough for the second time, putting the Bears in an insurmountable hole heading into halftime.

But Brown was the better side in the second half, as co-captain Alexis Miller ’16 notched her career-best eighth goal of the season unassisted off a corner. After registering 12 points in each of her first three seasons with Bruno, the senior finished off her final campaign with 17 points.

“Several of our games this season were decided by one goal or in overtime,” said co-captain Anna Masini ’16. The finishing abilities of Miller and Hannah Rogers ’16 “helped turn some close games that could have gone either way into victories,” Masini said.

Down three goals, Brown needed quick offense throughout the second half. The team came close several times but was unable to get back into the game. Right before the 60 minute mark, Brooke Reese scored Yale’s fifth goal of the game. Katerina Toffolini made it six shortly thereafter.

“Our defense is very strong, and mistakes obviously happen,” Masini said. “Once you get down 3-0, you start taking more offensive risks, and that’s when the additional goals get scored.”

Rogers scored her eighth goal of the season in the final moments, giving her a team-high 19 points. Brown ended the year slightly under .500 and recorded another one-win campaign in conference play, but the number of close games marked a sign of improvement from last year.

“This program means everything to the senior class,” Masini said. “When we came in, our team was very different, and we’ve spent the last four years trying to shift the culture, and I think we’re graduating very proud of what we did accomplish.” “The record obviously isn’t what we wanted, but we are leaving our mark in other ways,” she added. “And honestly, we’re all sad we don’t have another year because this team is going to surprise a lot of people next year.”