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Bruno splits OT battles, earns first Ivy League win

Sports Staff Writer
Monday, September 26, 2011

After a heart-breaking overtime defeat at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst Thursday, the Brown women’s soccer team broke hearts of their own Sunday, defeating Dartmouth in dramatic fashion at home to open their Ivy season with a win. Though the Bears saw the UMass game taken from them after a late goal by the Minutewomen (5-2-1), heroics from Marybeth Lesbirel ’12 put Bruno (5-2-1, 1-0-0) on the other side of the spectrum as they toppled the Big Green 1-0 (2-6-0, 0-1-0). Solid goalkeeping from both Amber Bledsoe ’14 and MC Barret ’14 kept Bruno in both games as each team searched for game-winners.  

UMass 1, Brown 0

Bruno set a physical tone from the opening whistle against the home side, committing five fouls in the first 10 minutes of play. The intensity nearly paid off in the 20th minute when a headed effort from Chloe Cross ’15 rattled the right post.

“At UMass, we had some new players and more inexperienced players that came on the field and started, and I think that was great for them,” said captain Sarah Hebert-Seropian ’12. “I think they did a great job.”

Despite hitting the crossbar during a flurry of shots later in the half, Bruno could not find a breakthrough heading into the halftime pause.

The second half opened in the same way the first finished, with both defenses coming up with stops to keep the game tied. UMass saw a brief glimpse of the goal in the 73rd minute after Barret pushed an on-target shot wide. She then gobbled up the rebound before a charging Minutewoman could put it into the empty net.

The Bears recorded four more shots before the end of regulation, but could not beat UMass keeper Emily Cota before the end of regulation.

The tie was finally broken four minutes into overtime when Deanna Colarossi nodded home a well-taken corner kick, leaving the Bears devastated.

“I think we were just unlucky in overtime,” Hebert-Seropian said. “We were a little undisciplined on the corner, and that’s how they scored on us.”

Brown 1, Dartmouth 0

The Bears again came out with a vengeance against Dartmouth, testing the Big Green keeper early. Mika Siegelman ’14 and Lesbirel fired shots within the first five minutes of play, with Siegelman’s punched away dramatically by the diving Dartmouth keeper.

Two more shots from the Bears late in the half did not find their way into the visitor’s net, and Bruno went into halftime with the game knotted at 0-0.

Dartmouth seemed to control the midfield for much of the second half, recording nine shots and earning three corner kicks. Barret was forced to make three saves in the half, and despite a quality free kick from Alison Kagawa ’12 at the other end, Bruno could not break the deadlock. At the final whistle, the Bears walked off the field towards their second straight overtime after being unable to find a goal in over 180 minutes.

Bruno finally broke the scoring drought in the 97th minute in extra time. Kagawa combined with Maddie Wiener ’14, who touched the ball to Lesbirel on the flank. Running to the right of the goal, Lesbirel teased out the keeper and slotted her shot home into the right corner. The goal gave Bruno its first Ivy win of the season.

“MC saved us about three times in the backfield in overtime,” Lesbirel said. “She kept us in the game. Then Ali hit it up to Maddie, she gave me a great flick, and we were able to put it in the net.”

“I think we learned from UMass a lot,” Hebert-Seropian said. “That helped us to stay focused. We knew we could get that goal.”

Bruno faces cross-town rival University of Rhode Island (5-3-1) Wednesday. The Bears will look to use this win to gain momentum as they head into a difficult stretch of games.

“I think you could feel our excitement when we won,” Hebert-Seropian said. “It was a great start as we look towards the (Ivy League) championship.”

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