Bruno drops two weekend nail-biters

Sports Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The women’s lacrosse team fell to Ivy foe Harvard and No. 4 Duke at home this weekend, extending its losing streak to four games. Both games came down to the wire, but a late scoring streak from the Crimson (5-4, 3-1 Ivy League) and an overtime goal from the Blue Devils (11-2) were enough to down Bruno (5-6, 1-3 Ivy League). Bre Hudgins ’14 led the Bears’ offense, tallying six goals and two assists over both games.

Harvard 12, Brown 9

The Crimson drew first blood Friday, scoring three minutes in to take the early lead. Grace Healy ’14 answered a minute later, scoring an unassisted goal to tie the game. After one more Harvard goal, Bruno unleashed a scoring streak in the next 20 minutes of play, as six goals from Danielle Mastro ’14, captain Paris Waterman ’11, Hudgins and Healy pushed Brown’s lead to 7-2.

With a little under five minutes left in the first half, the Crimson scored three goals, going into the pause trailing 7-5. Their energy carried over to the second half, where they scored seven goals in 23 minutes, making the score 12-7. Bruno only managed two shots during the Crimson’s seven-goal onslaught.

“I think they just came in with a lot of energy at the end of the first half, and we just needed to be able to answer back with more goals,” said Head Coach Keely McDonald ’00.

The Bears finally broke Harvard’s scoring streak with a goal from captain Alexa Caldwell ’11. A final goal from Hudgins was not enough to mount a comeback, and the Crimson came away with the 12-9 victory.

“Harvard is a very tough team, and they have had comebacks like that all season,” Caldwell said. “I think we didn’t come up with those key possession periods that allowed them to have more time with the ball on offense and then put away those shots.”

“I think any Ivy League game is going to be a battle,” McDonald added. “And we needed to step up in terms of our composure in order to get that win, and I think we learned a lot from that game.”

Duke 13, Brown 12

Taking what they learned from Friday’s game, the Bears got off to a blazing start against Duke Sunday. Goals from Lindsay Minges ’13 and Hudgins in the first five minutes of play gave Brown an early two-goal lead. The two sides struck back and forth over the next 11 minutes, as two Duke goals were offset by two from Bruno to keep the 4-2 lead. But the Blue Devils took advantage of Bruno’s defensive lapses and scored three straight goals to take a 5-4 lead. The two teams went into halftime tied at six.

“I think the team played the way that all season we have known we could,” Caldwell said. “We did that today, and that was really great — a testament to the team.”

The Blue Devils came firing out of the gate in the second half, putting away three goals in the first three minutes to jump out to a 9-6 lead. Minges’ goal two minutes later was nullified by a quick Duke response, as the Blue Devils seemed determined to keep their three-goal cushion, 10-7.

But Bruno would not stay behind for long, netting four goals in nine minutes to take back the lead once more, 11-10. But Duke managed to tie the game a minute before the end of regulation, pushing the match into overtime in dramatic fashion. The teams again traded goals in this first set of extra time, but Duke was able to net one more goal in the final minutes of the sudden-death overtime to come away with the 13-12 win.

“That was just a really, really fun game to play in, even though we lost,” Caldwell said. “We had played our hearts out and left everything on the field, and that’s all you can ask for.”

“I was really happy with how the players translated what we did well from Harvard and what we needed to fix from Harvard and put that into effect really just a day later,” McDonald said.

Bruno will look to break its four-game slide next Saturday when it travels to Cornell at 1 p.m. The game is a must-win for the Bears if they hope to keep their Ivy Tournament ambitions alive.

“I think this game against Duke is going to give us incredible confidence,” Caldwell said. “If we play the way we did today for the rest of our games in the season, we’re going to have a very good shot at winning all of them.”

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