Coming off decisive victories against Colgate and Bryant last week, the women’s lacrosse team headed into its second Ivy League tilt Saturday against Yale poised to notch its first conference win.
Unfortunately for Bruno (4-3, 0-2 Ivy), the Bulldogs (4-4, 1-1) took control of the game early on, building a four-goal lead by the end of the first half. This margin proved insurmountable for the Bears despite a late-game rally that brought the team within one, bringing the final score to 6-5.
“We came out slow and disorganized, not playing our style of Brown lacrosse,” said senior co-captain Lauren Toy ’16. “We came back to ourselves at half time and started playing our style of game in the second half to make up the deficit, but by then it was too late.”
Continuing a narrative that has been a mainstay this season, Toy — en route to her third hat trick of the year and 16th goal of the season — put Bruno on the scoreboard first with a goal three minutes into the contest.
But Bruno was unable to capitalize on this early advantage as Yale immediately answered. Junior attacker Tess McEvoy netted a goal for the Bulldogs only 40 seconds later to tie the game.
McEvoy’s response fueled a large swing in momentum in favor of Yale that lasted for the rest of the first half. The Elis went on a five-goal tear that put Yale up 5-1, exposing both a faltering Bruno defense and lackluster offense along the way.
The Bears would regroup during halftime. Responding in the first 10 minutes of the second half, Rose Mangiarotti ’18 and Toy led a scoring run that included three goals to put Bruno back into the game, with the score now just 5-4 in favor of Yale.
Head Coach Keely McDonald ’00 was “definitely proud of how the team responded” in the second half. As she mentioned, in these “big emotional games” the players simply need to be “that detail-oriented from the beginning” and stay consistent for “the entire 60 minutes.”
But this late-game rally would not be enough to dig the Bears out of their early deficit. In the ensuing possessions, Yale and Brown each traded goals to bring the score to 6-5 with ten minutes remaining. But Brown was unable to break through Yale’s defense one final time in order to tie up the contest. The Bears had several chances to score, including shots on goal that “each player would definitely like back,” McDonald said. During that period, Yale also took time off the clock with a possession-scheme. Yale maintained its one-goal lead as time expired for the win.
Overall, the Bulldogs led in shots and draw controls, while Bruno led in turnovers and committed fouls.
“Each athlete just needs to focus on the details that she needs to execute in those big games,” McDonald said. “It is just about the little things that they need to do in the moment to be successful.”
Though disappointed about the outcome, senior attacker and team co-captain Richael Walsh ’16 maintains a positive outlook on the season.
“The team is already working towards moving past this game and learning from the mistakes we made against Yale,” Walsh said. “We had a productive film session this morning that highlighted very clearly some areas we will focus on improving this week. This loss, however disappointing, has motivated everyone to work that much harder to take down our next Ivy opponent.”
The Bears will face another Ivy League test very soon. Brown hosts Cornell Saturday at 1 p.m in its third conference matchup of the season. The team will look to avenge last year’s 14-6 loss against the Big Red. Securing a victory over Cornell will be pivotal in order to keep its conference hopes alive, as Bruno now ranks seventh in the Ivy League after two games.
“As captains, the best thing we can do is lead by example with our work ethic and passion,” Walsh said. “Moving forward, we know that game preparation starts with connections days before the game at practice and in the locker room, not just on the morning of.”