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Squad lets ‘golden opportunity’ slip

Sports Staff Writer
Sunday, October 16, 2011

After blowing out Francis Marion University 5-1 Thursday, the women’s soccer team suffered a tough loss on the road against Harvard Saturday night. Forward Chloe Cross ’15 led the offense with a hat trick against the Patriots (3-10-1), but the Bears (8-4-1, 2-2 Ivy) were unable to carry the offensive momentum into their matchup against the Crimson (9-4-1, 3-0-1).  

Brown 5, Francis Marion 1

In addition to Cross’ hat trick, forward Eliza Marshall ’13 netted two goals in the team’s most dominant win of the season.

Though a missing referee delayed kickoff, Bruno got off to a roaring start once the opening whistle blew. Marshall got on the score sheet first in the 15th minute after putting home a cross from midfielder Mika Siegelman ’14.

“It was really good to see us come out strong in the first half,” Marshall said. “That was something we had been struggling with, so we did well in that case.”

Marshall assisted on Cross’ goal just seven minutes later. Her pass found its way past Patriot defenders to Cross, who finished confidently to give the Bears a two-goal cushion.

But Cross was just getting started, and found the back of the net again only five minutes later. Defender Gloria Chun ’12 sent a long through ball up to Cross, who rounded the keeper and calmly slotted her finish into the vacated goal to increase the lead to 3-0 going into halftime.

Though the Patriots forced a save from MC Barret ’14 just 58 seconds into the half, the Bears continued to pile on the goals when Marshall fired past the keeper from the top of the box in the 53rd minute. The goal marked Marshall’s team-leading fourth of the season.

“It’s not necessarily about scoring,” Marshall said, “But also about holding the ball, and distributing it to my teammates to help the attack go forward.”

Bruno’s final goal of the day came just a minute later. Marshall received a ball at the left post from midfielder Allie Reilly ’15 and shot just wide. Cross swooped in before the ball rolled out of play and shot across the goal for her third of the day, giving Brown a commanding 5-0 lead. A late goal from the Patriots in the 86th was too little, too late, and the Bears came away with a convincing win.

“I can’t tell you how many times Brown came out and scored that many goals in a game,” said Head Coach Phil Pincince. “I can’t tell you the last time we had a Brown player who scored a hat trick, and I can’t remember the last time we played everybody that was able to play in that game, so that was exciting.”

Harvard 2, Brown 1

Though Bruno found the back of the net early against the Crimson, Harvard stormed back in the second half to grab the conference win and possession of first place in the Ivy League. The Bears are four points behind the Crimson with three league games left in the season.

“Every year, you’re going to play 17 games,” Pincince said. “But there are some games that are golden opportunity games, and yesterday was a golden opportunity game because we were fighting for first place.”

“It was obviously a heartbreaker,” Marshall said. “We didn’t play 90 minutes of good soccer.”

The Bears got off to a cracking start when Kiersten Berg ’14 flicked a set-piece cross from Marshall into the far side of the goal in the 16th minute, giving Bruno an early 1-0 lead.

Harvard nearly equalized eight minutes later, as a shot flew over goaltender Amber Bledsoe’s ’14 head and off the crossbar. The Crimson outshot the Bears 6-4 in the first half but could not get on the score sheet before the half.

But Harvard turned up the pressure at the start of the second half and found the goal in the 59th minute. After a free kick outside the area, the Crimson’s Melanie Baskind fired a loose ball into the net to equalize.

Five minutes later, Harvard came up with the game-winner. Mai Le collected the ball eight yards out from goal off another set piece and slotted home a finish to give the Crimson the deciding 2-1 lead.

“It was sort of a broken-play goal,” Pincince said. “All three of them were like that. They got two, we got one, and unfortunately, we came back to Providence with no points.”

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