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Bears set sights on Ivy League title

Sports Writer
Thursday, September 8, 2011

Success in team sports is determined by many factors, but one that remains a topic of debate across the sporting world is the question of youth versus experience. For the women’s soccer team, a combination of the two is responsible for its blazing start to the 2011 fall campaign. The Bears (3-0, 0-0 Ivy League) are off to a perfect start to the season, defeating Liberty University, Coastal Carolina University and Providence College in a six-day span.

“We want to win an Ivy championship,” said captain Sarah Hebert-Seropian ’12. “We’re not looking for anything less.”

The team got a boost this year from the introduction of eight first-year players, who will all bring the youthful energy necessary to make a run at the Ivy League title. Six returning seniors will provide experienced play from defense through attack.

“We really like to attack the flanks,” Hebert-Seropian said. “We’re also looking to dominate the middle.”

Head Coach Phil Pincince will be returning for his 33rd year as head of the Brown women’s soccer program. As the 13th-winningest coach in Division I history, his experience should help him steer the younger members of the squad as they seek to stay hot going into upcoming games.

Brown 1, Liberty 0

The Bears’ youth proved the deciding factor in the team’s opening game of the season at Liberty (1-2-1) Friday, as Bruno edged out the Flames with strong performances from several underclassmen. Though the team dominated the first-half proceedings, the breakthrough goal came early in the second half by way of Allie Reilly ’15.

The Bears’ defense held Liberty to a mere five shots in the shutout win.

Brown 3, Coastal Carolina 1

Two goals from Eliza Marshall ’13 helped Bruno take the edge over the Chanticleers (1-4-1) in Lynchburg, Va. Sunday. The Bears were outshot 10-5 in the first half of play, but a goal from Kiersten Berg ’14 allowed them to take a 1-0 lead into halftime. Twenty minutes into the second half, Bruno went up 2-0 after Marshall put away a cross from Marybeth Lesbirel ’12. Berg assisted Marshall just seven minutes later to stretch the lead to 3-0, and a late goal from the Chanticleers was not enough for them to claw back into the game.

Brown 2, Providence 0

After a back-and-forth first half, Bruno finally got on the board in the 77th minute, when a long free kick from Diana Ohrt ’13 was guided in by Hebert-Seropian for the eventual game-winner. A slip-up from the Friars (1-2-4) keeper just 30 seconds later allowed the Bears to further their lead — Maddie Wiener’s ’14 driven cross skipped off the slick surface and deflected off the keeper into the net to give the Bears a 2-0 advantage.

Staunch goaltending from Amber Bledsoe ’14 and MC Barrett ’14 gave Brown its second shutout win of the season.    

The Bears look to keep their winning streak alive as they welcome University of Vermont (2-3-1) to Stevenson Field Saturday. Though there is plenty of promise to start off this season, the team also remembers the recent loss of a loved one. The death of Assistant Coach Denis Chartier this spring only provides more motivation for the Bears to play their hardest.

“We’ve had a difficult start to 2011 and some sad times and a lot of adversity to deal with,”  Pincince said. “And I think this team and coaching staff will tell you that we are definitely on a mission.”

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