Elis top field hockey with OT penalty stroke

Despite Senior Day loss to Yale, Bruno completes a ‘milestone season’ as record-holders end careers

Sports Staff Writer
Monday, November 10, 2014

Meghan O’Donnell ’15 battles with a defender. O’Donnell will end her career as Brown’s all-time leading scorer and with a winning senior season.

On Senior Day at Goldberger Family Field, this year’s historic women’s field hockey team — which includes Meghan O’Donnell ’15, who has has the most career goals and points in team history, Shannon McSweeney ’15, who holds Brown records for most career saves and most saves in a single season, and Clayton Christus ’15, who has the second-most defensive saves of all-time for Brown — wanted to end their winningest season since 2006 on a good note against Yale Saturday.

Unfortunately for Bruno, that was not the case, as Kelsey Nolan converted a stroke in overtime to give the Bulldogs (3-14, 1-6 Ivy) their first conference win over Brown (9-8, 1-6) with a 3-1 victory.

Hannah Rogers ’16 got the Bears on the board first, latching onto an O’Donnell pass that she managed to squeak past oncoming Yale goalie Heather Schlesier. The play was set up by back Katarina Angus ’17, who found O’Donnell with a beautiful pass from one end of the field to another.

It took Yale about 15 minutes to equalize, which it did courtesy of a tip from junior forward Nicole Wells off senior back Meghan Kirkham’s pass from the outside that beat a diving McSweeney. The story of the first half was the amount of corners for the Bulldogs: Nearly every venture into the Brown crease became a corner. The referees awarded Yale 12 in the first half.

At that rate, it was only a matter of time before the Bulldogs converted one, which they did four minutes into the second half. Carol Middough converted Yale’s 13th corner of the game, striking one past McSweeney to give Yale its first lead of the game.

Not to be denied, Brown pressed the Bulldogs in search of an equalizer. After a few good chances by Rogers, O’Donnell and Lucy Green ’17, Alexis Miller ’16 put one past Schlesier on the Bears’ fifth corner of the half. Yale’s fly — the defensive player designed to sprint out of the goal and break up any corner play — converged on Christus, so Emily Arciero ’16 slid the ball to Miller who slotted it into the bottom corner.

The rest of regulation was fairly even, with Miller receiving a green card — a warning card that prevented her from being on Brown’s final corner — which resulted in Christus’ shot being blocked.

In overtime, play favored the Bulldogs. In an eight-minute stretch, Yale had four corners and registered eight shots, including a two-minute period in which McSweeney had to make three saves on Nolan before the promising sophomore was awarded a penalty stroke. She converted the stroke, giving Yale its first Ivy win of the year and ending Brown’s campaign for its second.

“The team achieved a great deal this season,” said Head Coach Jill Reeve. “They are playing at a higher level and winning more games because of that. Yes, we would’ve liked to have had more impact in the league but I believe that is coming.”

The Bears may have ended up last in the league, but a look at their season — especially its start — reveals a more impressive team. Overtime wins against Sacred Heart and Harvard displayed Brown’s character and caliber, and its 2-0 victory over then-nationally ranked Providence College was one of the most impressive wins in the history of the program.

“This has been a milestone season for our team,” McSweeney said. “Being able to leave Brown with the first winning season in eight years is a huge accomplishment for our senior class and our entire team. We have come a long way in our skill and maturity as players, but there’s more out there for this team.”


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