It was a forgettable start to the weekend and conference play for the field hockey team when the squad was whipped 4-0 Saturday at Columbia. But Bruno rallied to pick up a dramatic, overtime win Sunday over Sacred Heart University.
Both Brown (4-1, 0-1 Ivy) and Columbia (4-2, 1-0) entered the Ivy opener with undefeated 3-0 records, and the game remained close for the first half. Zoe Blake got the Lions on the board in the eighth minute, and Columbia fired off seven first-half shots to Brown’s three, but Bruno goalie Shannon McSweeney ’15 kept the Bears close with four saves.
Unfortunately for Bruno, McSweeney couldn’t hold off the potent Lion offense forever, and the home team tallied goals in the 44th, 53rd and 64th minutes, pushing the lead to a resounding 4-0.
Returning home for another non-conference game against Sacred Heart (4-4) was just what the Bears needed. The first goal didn’t come until 49 minutes into play, when Alexis Miller ’16 finished off a penalty corner with her second goal of the year. The Big Red’s Olivia Volpe answered quickly by firing home the equalizer off an assist from Christine Mace.
The 1-1 score held into extra time, but Lucy Green ’17 took advantage of a penalty stroke to decide the game. It was the sophomore’s first goal of the season and propelled the Bears to 4-0 out of conference.
Men’s water polo
The men’s water polo team impressed its home crowd this weekend with three wins in convincing fashion. The Bears (9-3, 3-0 CWPA) made quick work of Iona College and Fordham University Saturday, and while their Sunday battle with Saint Francis University proved to be the closest margin, the match still concluded with a comfortable 10-6 Bruno victory.
The weekend was also the first taste of conference play for the Bears, undoubtedly instilling confidence as they go for a CWPA North Division crown.
Matty Gallas ’16 set the tone for the team with two scores in the opening quarter against Iona (1-4, 1-1). Henry Fox ’15, the squad’s leading scorer, lived up to his record against the Gaels, amassing a hat trick in the 16-11 decision. Iona hung tight in the first half and went into the break tied 7-7, but the Bears tightened the defense in the third quarter, allowing just one goal and swinging the game in their favor.
The scoring came by committee against Fordham (7-3, 1-1), with nine different Bears scoring as part of a 12-goal team effort. But the game was won on the pool’s defensive end, where a stout Bruno performance never allowed the Rams more than two goals in a quarter.
St. Francis (2-6, 1-1) appeared to have Brown’s number early on and jumped to a 3-1 lead after the first quarter. But Bruno evened the low-scoring affair at three by halftime and used a 4-1 fourth-quarter advantage to pull away from the Red Flash. Yahel Murvitz-Lahav ’17 continued his impressive sophomore campaign with three goals to lead the team, his second hat trick of the weekend.
The University of New Hampshire and New Mexico State University dealt the volleyball team consecutive losses to open the UNH Holly Young Invitational, but the Bears (4-7) were ready for the University of Rhode Island in the final match of the weekend, outlasting the Rams 3-1.
It has been a challenging non-conference slate for Bruno early in the season, and UNH (6-9) continued this trend. Despite looking dominant in a 25-15 first-set win, the squad dropped the next three sets of the opening match. Shannon Frost ’16 posted an impressive line — 13 kills and 13 digs — in the losing effort. Maddie Lord ’15 led all players with 15 kills.
New Mexico State (7-5) similarly controlled the Bears, never allowing them to touch 20 points in the three-set sweep. Each of Bruno’s starters notched multiple kills, but Lord’s six were the most any player could amass.
After the Bears had made quick work of Providence College on Sept. 10, a battle with URI (9-4) meant supremacy in the Ocean State was on the line. Payton Smith ’17, whose .405 hitting percentage has topped Bruno attackers this year, led the charge with 15 kills and five blocks. Lord and Frost complemented Smith at the net with 13 and 11 kills, respectively, while Maryl Vanden Bos ’15 and Sarah Lucenti ’17 were a dynamic assist duo, combining for 39 helpers. Together, these stats led to a decisive 3-1 Bruno victory.