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Double OT strike sends field hockey past Crimson

After Rogers ’16 forces overtime with 33 seconds to go, Bruno beats Harvard for first Ivy win

In a chippy, bitter, back-and-forth game — which, aptly, summed up the weather that Saturday afternoon — the women’s field hockey team (6-2, 1-2 Ivy) topped Harvard (6-4, 1-2) in its first Ivy League win of the season. Forward Jaclyn Torres ’17 slid a pass from Hannah Rogers ’16 past sprawling Crimson goalie Issy Davies to win the game in double overtime, 4-3.

Captain Meghan O’Donnell ’15 provided the lightning early, notching two goals in the first 19 minutes of the game to put Harvard in an early hole. Contesting every ball that came into the Crimson defensive half, her quickness caused the Harvard defenders fits early and often.

“Meghan is a dangerous player,” said Head Coach Jill Reeve. “She’s difficult to predict and defend. What she provides helps set our team up for success.”

“It was important for us as a team to score early,” O’Donnell said. “It feels good to get a couple goals on the board early in the game so it sets the tone for the rest of the game.”

But Harvard’s own star forward Noel Painter quickly struck back, scoring two goals of her own before the half came to close in a 2-2 deadlock. There were hot and cold fronts for both teams in the first half, and Harvard had the edge in possession and in corners, 4-0. The Bears dominated Harvard physically throughout the faceoff. But despite this edge,  the team was often on its heels, relying on goalie Shannon McSweeney ’15 to keep the ball out of the back of the net.

“Shannon is the backbone of our defense. Our backs can make mistakes, and Shannon will clean up the mess,” Reeve said. “Without her, we would not be sitting at 6-2.”

Harvard came out of the half on fire, hitting the post nine minutes into the second half and earning its fifth corner of the game after 13 minutes. But it took another 10 minutes before the Crimson turned its chances into a goal: Painter completed her hat trick, sneaking in a rebound at the back post after a McSweeney save.

Reeve took a timeout right after the Harvard goal that seemed to give Brown a second wind — the team pressed the Crimson back line more than it had done all game. O’Donnell found the form she had early in the first half and looked increasingly dangerous, chasing balls down the sideline and forcing the Harvard defenders into some rushed turnovers.

“We made a few minor tactical adjustments, and I told them that they would have to dig deep to get (this game),” Reeve said.

“Jill just wanted to tell us that we were still absolutely in it,” O’Donnell said. “We needed to fight hard, be tougher than them and just finish our opportunities in the offensive circle.”

When it looked like the wind had disappeared from Brown’s metaphorical sails, O’Donnell made a last-gasp effort on goal that Rogers tipped past Davies to tie the game up with 33 seconds remaining.

“Hannah’s goal was absolutely beautiful, grabbing the ball out of the air and finishing it,” O’Donnell said. “It was absolutely huge.”

In the first overtime, both teams survived scares: McSweeney came up with a miraculous save on a Harvard corner and got help from Anna Masini ’16, who cleared a ball about two feet away from giving Harvard the win. On the other side, Davies stopped O’Donnell three times on chances that were markedly similar to the opportunities that she scored on earlier in the game.

“Our defense played great and kept us in the game completely, especially at the end of the game and in overtime,” O’Donnell said.

After an overtime and a half of increasingly back-and-forth play, Rogers took the ball on the edge of the crease and found Torres right in front of the goal. Torres made no mistake in sweeping the ball over the diving Davies, who could only watch helplessly as the ball flew past her and landed in the back of the net.

“This was a big win for the morale of our team,” Reeve said. “I know we expected to have an Ivy win or two heading into today’s game. Fortunately, our team responded with heart and determination.”

Brown survived a scare from Siena (0-10) Sunday, winning 3-2. O’Donnell, Katarina Angus ’17 and Alexis Miller ’16 got the goals for Bruno, as Reeve rotated many of the first-years into the lineup throughout the game.

It was O’Donnell’s seventh goal of the season, putting her one point behind Columbia’s Zoe Blake for most in the Ivy League. She is also top five in assists and goals after this weekend’s games.

O’Donnell and the Bears will look to continue their hot streak next weekend against Lehigh (4-8) and Providence College (8-4).


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