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Field hockey team's offense falters in rare scoreless affair

Despite record-setting performance from McSweeney ’15, Bears fall to Princeton 4-0

All year, the women’s field hockey team has been patient: The squad waited to get its first Ivy League win after suffering two huge losses, waited until the dying embers of games to snatch wins — particularly during overtime wins against Sacred Heart and Harvard — and, in its biggest win of the year against Providence College, Brown used its patience to outlast the visiting Friars.

But after 15 years of waiting to beat Princeton (4-9, 3-1 Ivy), the Bears (8-4, 1-3 Ivy) will have to wait another year, as they lost to the Tigers 4-0 on Saturday. Meghan O’Donnell ’15 will also have to wait until this Wednesday as she aims to break the University’s career goals and points records.

But one milestone was finally reached, as Shannon McSweeney ’15 eclipsed Sarah Lamont ’91 for most saves in a Brown career. Though the record-breaking save came in what was a disappointing team loss, McSweeney’s four years as the Brown netminder have been incredible. She ranks in Brown’s top 15 in all career goaltending categories, holds the record for most saves in a single season and, if the Bears were to win all five of their remaining games, would hold the record for most wins in a season.

“I would say that it was a long, hard push to get where we are today,” McSweeney said. “The turnaround that we have experienced this season certainly did not happen overnight. A lot of credit should be given to the class of 2014 who put the work in and led the way but did not get to fully experience the results.”

Princeton struck first after about five minutes of play as Allison Evans took a pass from Stephanie Goldberg and put it by McSweeney to notch Evans’ second goal of the year. After that initial misstep, the Bears settled down a bit — they had two corners in the first half to the Tigers’ one — but could not close the half out, as Ryan McCarthy put in Princeton’s second goal two minutes before the halftime whistle.

Princeton carried that momentum into the second half, scoring two goals in the first 10 minutes of the period courtesy of McCarthy and Evans, respectively. All four of the Tigers’ goals were from the run of play; penalty corners were not a factor in the game at all, as both teams had four and were a combined 0-8 on them.

O’Donnell led a Brunonian offense that could only muster three total shots — drawing only two saves from Princeton goalie Julia Boyle and one defensive save — against a formidable opposing defense that has allowed four goals in four games against Ivy opponents.

The result dropped Brown to a tie for sixth in the Ivy League and with almost no shot to compete for a conference championship, but all three of its Ivy losses have come from faceoffs with teams that are tied for first in the Ivy League — Columbia, Dartmouth and Princeton. And with the other team that’s tied for first — Cornell — coming down to Providence next week, the Bears could feel they still have a lot to show about this year’s team.

“My plan for the rest of the season is to take it one game at a time and leave it all out there,” McSweeney said. “I want to walk away knowing that I gave it every ounce of what I had.”

The Bears start the last stretch of their season Wednesday against Holy Cross (3-13, 0-5 Patriot) before three more Ivy League games and a faceoff against St. Joseph’s University to close out the 2014 campaign.


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