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Women’s lacrosse tops Lions for first Ivy win

Despite late comeback attempt from Lions’ offense, Bruno squeaks by Columbia on Senior Day

Senior Staff Writer
Sunday, April 12, 2015

The women’s lacrosse team has never fallen to Columbia and continued the tradition on Senior Day Saturday, as it triumphed over the Lions 7-6.  The win secured Bruno’s first Ivy victory of the season, a prize long in the works for the Bears.

“The whole game yesterday was really a team effort,” said Emma Dahle ’18. “We’ve been working toward it all season and making a lot of progress … It was just a great display of a season-long effort.”

A high-scoring first half put the Bears ahead by three. Dianne Vitkus ’16 put Bruno on the board with the first goal of the game. Columbia retaliated quickly, but Lauren Toy ’16 tallied another for the Bears to steal back the lead.

The Lions found the back of the net once more to tie up the score at 2-2. Bruno went on a three-goal streak to cement its margin over Columbia and regain a lead that they would maintain until the final buzzer, though not without threats from the Lions. Janie Gion ’15 kicked off the campaign about midway through the half, scoring off of an assist from rookie Lindsey Repp ’18. Repp continued her noteworthy offensive performance for the day by notching her own goal about four minutes later. Dahle quickly followed Repp to put Bruno up 5-2, showcasing the role of first-years in the squad’s depth.

The Lions countered once more, fighting to narrow the deficit and negate Bruno’s offensive intensity. But Gion retaliated, scoring again before the end of the half to maintain the Bears’ three-goal lead. The lead showcased a team able to capitalize on momentum early in the game by finishing shots and seizing scoring opportunities. It was the first time this season that the Bears entered the second half with a lead against a conference opponent.

The Bears stuck with their systems and followed their game plan, said Dahle. As a result, she said, they were able to play a full 60 minutes of effective lacrosse.

Offensive output slowed considerably in the second half, but the excitement did not diminish. The Lions kicked off the half with two consecutive, hard-fought goals, working 12 minutes into the period until they came dangerously close to Bruno, trailing 6-5. The score held for a five-minute scoreless stretch before Repp gave the Bears some breathing room with her second goal of the day. A 7-5 stalemate lasted for over 10 minutes.

But with three minutes left, Columbia’s Caroline Joy completed a hat trick and brought the Lions back within one of the Bears. Alyssa DiBona ’15 quieted the Lions’ attempt at a heartbreaker by winning the final draw control, giving Bruno possession and staving off Columbia’s aspirations to win. The game ended with the Bears up by one decisive goal, for a final score of 7-6.

“It’s really difficult to play against a really high-pressure defense. Our team handled it really well both individually and collectively,” Dahle said. “To hold a team to six goals is amazing … Columbia definitely has some really big offensive threats, and our defense just totally shut them down.”

Kellie Roddy ’15 staunchly defended the net in her Senior Day performance, racking up eight saves. Roddy has blocked 91 shots this season, ranking her second among Ivy League goalies in saves per game. Bruno uncharacteristically trailed in draw controls against the Lions but was able to capitalize on possessions when it counted.

While the first half was won by Brown’s offense, which recorded 14 shots and six goals, the second half was arguably saved by the defense, which protected against 10 shot attempts from a hungry Columbia squad currently on a three-game losing streak.

The win “was really special for our seniors … They do so much for our team, and they’ve done so much for our program. The rest of the team was really playing for them,” Dahle said.

With the win, the Bears move to sixth place in the conference standings, sitting in a three-way tie with Columbia and Dartmouth, all of which share a 1-4 Ivy record. Bruno’s next Ivy contest is with the Big Green, opening a window of opportunity for a climb up the conference standings. But first, the Bears will host UMass Lowell Tuesday for a taste of nonconference action.

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