Heading into its fifth Ivy League matchup this season Saturday at Columbia, the women’s lacrosse team looked to capitalize on the momentum generated by a close 5-4 victory over UMass Lowell earlier in the week.
Unfortunately for the Bears (5-8, 0-5 Ivy), a late-game rally fueled by senior captains Lauren Toy ’16 and Richael Walsh ’16 fell short as Columbia (6-7, 1-4) dictated possession and dominated offensively in both halves to secure a convincing 13-9 win.
The Lions took the lead right from the start, with junior midfielder Sara Ruzzi notching a goal in the first minute. The Columbia offense would remain unrelenting, racking up three more goals in the ensuing 16 minutes to bring the score to 4-0. A succession of goals by Columbia midfielder Taylor Quinn capped the four-goal run, which saw Columbia dominate possession by securing four consecutive draw controls and outshooting the Bears 10-0.
Soon after, Head Coach Keely McDonald ’00 called a timeout in hopes of resetting both the offensive and defensive units and reestablishing control over a game that was quickly escaping Bruno.
The timeout proved useful. Shortly afterward, junior midfielder Jillian Lee ’17 finally put Brown on the scoreboard with two goals, cutting Columbia’s lead in half.
For the remainder of the first half, Brown and Columbia traded goals. Hafsa Moinuddin ’19 and attacker Rose Mangiarotti ’18 netted goals that helped keep the Bears in the game, and at the close of the half, Columbia led 6-4.
The beginning of the second half saw another relentless Columbia offensive onslaught, with the Lions notching three consecutive goals to increase their lead to five. The scoreboard now read 9-4, a seemingly insurmountable deficit for Bruno. After another score by Moinuddin, Columbia responded by tacking on two of its own to increase its lead to six with 15 minutes remaining.
But the Bears would rally with Toy and Walsh leading the charge. In the remaining 15 minutes, the pair tallied two goals each to cut the Columbia lead down to just three, its smallest since the beginning of the second half.
But this late-game rally was not sufficient to dig the Bears out of their early deficit. As the clock wound down, Columbia coasted comfortably to a 13-9 victory and its first conference win this year. The Bears, on the other hand, were again disappointed in a season that has shown glimpses of promise but has left the team’s brightest aspirations unrealized.
Overall, Columbia roughly doubled Brown in shots taken and ground balls, while the Bears committed 19 turnovers to the Lions’ eight.
With the loss, Brown falls to 0-5 in the Ivy League, with only two conference games remaining, both at home. The Bears will face Dartmouth Saturday at 1 p.m. and Princeton the following week.
Unfortunately for the Bears, the loss against Columbia has ended hopes for a spot in the Ivy League playoff — a championship tournament for which only the four top-seeded teams qualify. Wins versus Dartmouth and Princeton would not be enough to overtake Harvard, Penn, Cornell or Princeton, all teams that have three or more conference wins already this year.
Still, the final two home games of the season will be opportunities for the Bears to end the year on a positive note and gain momentum heading into the offseason.