The men's lacrosse team had a busy but overall disappointing week over spring break. After a thrilling come-from-behind home victory, the team twice came up short on the road in a tough three-game stretch. Bruno (3-5, 0-2 Ivy League) overcame a two-goal deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat the University of Vermont (4-5) March 26, but then lost two tight away matchups to No. 3 Duke University (8-2, 2-0 ACC) and Ivy rival Princeton (2-5, 1-2). In the key conference game against Princeton Saturday, the Bears fought back from two goals down to tie the game at the end of regulation but fell 5-4 in a quadruple-overtime marathon.
"We just haven't made the big plays we need to make," said attacker Parker Brown '12. "I don't think it has anything to with our composure or our preparation or the way we practice or the amount of work we put in. During games, we just haven't stepped up and scored goals."
Brown 12, Vermont 10
Brown kicked off its spring break schedule with an out-of-conference matchup against Vermont at Meister-Kavan Field. After a sluggish start, Bruno kicked into gear for a come-from-behind 12-10 win. The Bears were led by a career-best performance from David Hawley '11. Hawley, who usually plays midfield, exploded for six goals in his first game at attacker. Tri-captain Andrew Feinberg '11, who moved back to midfield, was also a key contributor in the new-look lineup, assisting on three goals while scoring two himself to add to his team-high 19 tallies on the season.
The Bears quickly found themselves in a 4-1 hole after a shaky first quarter. Feinberg notched his first score of the game early in the second, but a Catamount goal right before the half extended Vermont's lead to 5-2 at intermission.
But Bruno came out with its guns blazing in the third quarter and scored five consecutive goals — including two from Hawley — to turn the tables and gain a 7-5 advantage.
"I think it showed a lot of leadership on our seniors' part and our coach's part to get us back into the game in the third quarter," Brown said.
The team could not sustain the momentum, though, and Vermont went on a run of its own, closing out the quarter with four unanswered scores to regain the lead.
After Hawley and Feinberg scored quickly to tie the game, Vermont attacker Geoff Worley responded, only to see his team's lead vanish a mere seven seconds later on another Hawley goal. The deadlock held for the next eight minutes, but with 4:21 remaining Hawley brought home his sixth and final score of the day to put Brown up for good. Parker Brown put the game out of reach with an insurance goal in the final two minutes, and the Bears walked away from the wild game with a win.
"It was a good feeling to have a come-from-behind win finally," Brown said. "We've lost those close games so far this year, so it was a nice win."
Duke 12, Brown 7
Fresh off the victory, the Bears traveled to Durham, N.C. to take on defending national champion Duke in a rematch of last year's thrilling 11-10 Blue Devil win. Hawley and Feinberg again spearheaded the Brown attack with multi-goal performances, but Duke proved too much to handle, outshooting the Bears 42-23 en route to a 12-7 victory.
Midfielder Teddy Daiber '11 scored the game's first goal, but the 1-0 advantage was Brown's only lead of the game. After Duke took the lead, Hawley scored two consecutive goals to tie the game at three goals apiece in the second quarter, but the Blue Devils put home three unanswered tallies to take a 6-3 lead into the half.
Hawley's third goal of the day cut the lead to 6-4, but Duke answered back with two scores of its own to take an 8-4 advantage early in the third. The pattern repeated as Feinberg's next goal for Brown was immediately answered by two Duke scores to stretch the Blue Devil lead to 10-5 going into the final quarter.
"In the third quarter, we kind of fell apart mentally," Brown said. "I feel like we had almost five penalties in that third quarter. We had a bunch, and they just kind of built a lead that we couldn't really equal. And they really out-hustled us. They got the tough ground balls that we should have gotten."
Feinberg and Alex Jones '13 found the back of the net for the Bears as the two sides traded scores in the fourth. At the final whistle, the scoreboard at Koskinen Stadium showed a 12-7 Duke win.
Princeton 5, Brown 4 (4OT)
Eager to bounce back from the Duke loss and capture its first Ivy win of the season, Brown got off to a strong start Saturday at Princeton. Parker Brown and Hawley put home goals less than two minutes apart in the first period to give the Bears a 2-0 lead. But Bruno was unable to sustain its early burst, and the Tigers scored three unanswered goals to take a 3-2 lead at the half.
After Princeton extended the margin to 4-2, Brown finally broke down the Tiger defense and tied the game at 4-4 to force overtime. Hawley scored his second goal of the game in the third quarter before Parker Brown found the equalizer with just over seven minutes left in regulation. Goalie Matt Chriss '11 held the Tigers without a score for the final quarter-and-a-half, registering 16 saves in regulation in an especially strong performance.
In overtime, Chriss and the defensive unit kept up its stalwart effort, but the offense was unable to breach Princeton's defense on the other end. For three four-minute overtime periods, the teams remained deadlocked. Finally, with just under three minutes left on the clock in the fourth overtime, Princeton got the game-winning strike when sophomore midfielder Tucker Shanley snuck one past Chriss to give his side the 5-4 win.
"It just comes down to our offense needing to score more," Parker Brown said. "Our defense — especially Matt Chriss with 20 saves — is playing unbelievable, and the offense just isn't stepping up. We need to be able to score more than four goals, no matter who we're playing."
Now 0-2 in conference play, the Bears have dug themselves an early hole. But all is not lost — last year, a 4-2 conference record earned Bruno a share of the Ivy League title.
The road will not be easy, though. The squad is next in action Tuesday night at Bryant University (3-6) and will then take on a formidable string of opponents in No. 13 Penn (5-3, 2-1), No. 15 Yale (5-2, 1-2), Providence College (3-5), No. 7 Cornell (7-2, 3-0) and Dartmouth (4-4, 1-1) for the final stretch.
"Every Ivy game is a must-win because of how strong the conference is this year," Parker Brown said. "We can't overlook Bryant by any means, but Penn, Yale, Cornell, Dartmouth the next four Saturdays — we could be playing for three more weeks, or we could be playing for six more weeks, and these games will really determine that. … Every team has got something to prove to each other, which is why this last stretch is going to be particularly tough."