Bears edged by first place Ivy rival No.11 Princeton

Bruno scores early before conceding two late goals in second half, Bears in tie for fifth in conference

senior staff writer
Monday, October 9, 2017

The women’s soccer team took a lead into the half against No. 11 Princeton last Saturday at Stevenson-Pincince Field, but surrendered a pair of goals late in the second stanza and dropped a pivotal Ivy League contest to the nationally-ranked Tigers. The 2-1 loss follows last week’s overtime defeat at Columbia and puts Brown in a tie for fifth place in the conference standings. 

Jennifer Caruso ’19 gave the Bears (8-4-0, 1-2-0 Ivy) an early lead in the 10th minute, driving in a rebound through traffic in front of the net. Star White ’21 picked up an assist on the play, after Celia Story ’19 played in a corner kick from the right side.

Facing its second defeat of the year, Princeton (11-1, 3-0) answered, scoring two goals in one minute to reclaim the advantage. Courtney O’Brien accounted for both tallies, finishing off a header from Natalie Larkin in the 75th minute and driving in a rebound 56 seconds later.

“Princeton hasn’t gone down much this season — I think they’ve gone down once. We wanted to test them in that situation and let them face a little bit of adversity,” said Head Coach Kia McNeill. “Our forwards did well — I wish we put a couple more opportunities away, and, in games like this, it comes down to finishing your chances.”

The teams matched one another with six shots on goal, although Princeton led with a 17-8 advantage in total shots. Goalkeeper Christine Etzel ’19 made three saves in the loss.

As the team enters its final four conference games of the season, it seeks to maximize possession and capitalize on scoring opportunities.

“I still think that we can minimize some of our unforced errors when we’re playing out from the midfield and moving the ball up top,” McNeill said. “The last thing is just being more clinical in front of the goal. We’ve just got to be a little bit more hungry in the (18-yard box) … get on the ends of crosses and follow things up.”

Despite the loss, McNeill said she was optimistic about the team’s ability to challenge the nationally-ranked Tigers.

“The positive from this is the fact that that’s the number 11 team in the country,” McNeill said. “Anybody who was here watching the game can see that we can play with anybody in the country, and, if anything, I think that this should just set a new standard for what Brown women’s soccer can play like.”

The matchup also served as Bruno’s “Think Pink” game in support of cancer research. The Bears took the field in pink socks and warm-up gear to raise awareness.

Bruno continues conference play with a visit to Harvard Saturday. The Bears return home to host Penn at Stevenson-Pincince Field Oct. 28.

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