Sports

Women’s lacrosse notches two wins heading into second Ivy League matchup

Experiences from difficult victory against Bryant lead to dominant win against Colgate

By
Staff Writer
Monday, March 14, 2016

Kerianne Hunt ’17 showed a strong offensive effort from the start of the Colgate-Brown match, scoring a goal just two minutes in. She went on to net two more goals, leading the team to victory. An additional win over Bryant lay a promising foundation before their game versus Yale later this week.

With a high-stakes conference game in five days against Yale, the women’s lacrosse team headed into contests against Bryant and Colgate this past week hoping to gain wins that would build momentum and boost confidence.

Despite some defensive mishaps, Bruno (4-2, 0-1 Ivy) survived a late-game rally by Bryant to pull off a tight 11-10 victory and snap a two-game losing streak Wednesday. Against Colgate Sunday, Bruno scored first and never looked back, rolling past the Raiders in a decisive 9-5 win.

Head Coach Keely McDonald ’00 remained positive yet critical in assessing the team’s play during the week. She noted that the team will need to “focus on each kid doing their job” and on “what they need to do to get better” but also stressed that the team “did some really nice things in both games.”

In the Bears’ matchup versus Bryant, co-captain Lauren Toy ’16 — Bruno’s perennial goal-scoring presence — gave them the early lead, notching the 55th tally of her career. The Bears and the Bulldogs traded off goals in the ensuing possessions, as neither team seemed to have the upper hand.

But while Bryant’s offense cooled down as the game progressed, Brown’s attack — headlined by a Toy hat trick — was unrelenting. Goals from first-year Hafsa Moinuddin ’19 and sophomore attacker Rose Mangiarotti ’18 capped a seven-goal run that put the Bears up 9-3 with 27:37 remaining.

Yet the Bulldogs, capitalizing on a faltering Brown defense, would find new life. Led by a late three-goal surge from senior attacker Nicole Britton, Bryant fought back to within one with five minutes left, leaving the score 11-10 in favor of Brown.

Bruno was able to close out the victory only after multiple defensive stops in the final minutes, in a game that should not have come down to the wire, Toy said.  With the win, the Bears improved to 7-0 all-time versus Bryant.

“It wasn’t our best defensive game,” McDonald said. “We did some nice things in the beginning, but we didn’t stay consistent for the entire 60 minutes. It was an ugly film session.”

Against Colgate, Brown did not make the same mistakes. Bruno took the lead right from the gun with a goal just two minutes in by midfielder Kerianne Hunt ’17. Hunt netted two more goals for the Bears in the first half alone — one of them as time expired — to complete the hat trick and put Brown up 4-2. As the second half progressed, Bruno built a 9-5 lead with 10 minutes remaining with goals from Toy, Mangiarotti, Richael Walsh ’16 and Jillian Lee ’17.

This time, the Bears maintained their four-goal cushion for the remainder of the game. Brown shut down Colgate on defense and dominated possession on offense, employing a keep-away scheme for the last 3:37 of the game to close out the win.

“This game was really about responding to last game because we didn’t really have a full team effort,” Toy said. “These last few games, the defense was on one game, and the next game the attack was on. We just want to have the full team on in the same day for the whole 60 minutes. (Sunday) was all about that, and we are super proud that we were able to execute.”

McDonald agreed, discussing how the team “played top to bottom: attack, defense, clear, ride, draw, sweep” and “put a lot of things that we have been doing well together.”

Brown will face Yale — its second Ivy League opponent this year — in New Haven Saturday at 1 p.m. Securing the win against the Elis will be pivotal for Brown, as the Bears have not won more than two conference games since 2009, including a 1-6 mark last year. But Yale was just 2-5 in Ivy games in 2015, making this game one of Bruno’s best opportunities for victory.

“We’re just going to stick to our game plan,” Toy said. “As long as we can execute our systems and our plays like we did today, I think we are going to be really successful.”