Fresh off one of its worst losses in recent memory, the women’s field hockey team headed back home for a Saturday matchup with St. Joseph’s, which lost to Penn 7-3 earlier in the season. The Bears (3-3) rebounded nicely, topping the Hawks (2-5) 2-1 in overtime.
One minute in, Bruno looked in danger of repeating its 6-1 midweek loss to Providence after St. Joe’s got a corner and converted it for the first goal of the game. Joely Helder was the goalscorer — her first time of the season — opportunistically latching onto a ball headed for the far post.
The first half was a struggle for the Bears to even get out of their own half, as the Hawks closed down Bruno’s midfield and took advantage of subpar passes. St. Joe’s was able to register three corners to Brown’s zero in the first half, while outshooting the Bears 11 to two.
“We had a defensive breakdown in the first three minutes,” said Head Coach Jill Reeve. “Our loss against PC got in our heads, so we were a little defensive in the first half,” he said. “But we made some adjustments at halftime, and they came out and played the way they normally play, and the game came back into our hands.”
The second half was a much different story, as the Bears immediately came out as the better team. It took eight minutes for Bruno to get its first corner, and it took seven more tries before it was able to equalize. Anna Masini ’16 inserted to Maddie Ayles ’19, who pushed it to Katarina Angus ’17 before her shot was blocked and cleaned up by the omnipresent Hannah Rogers ’16. It was the senior’s third goal of the season. And according to Reeve, it was a reflection of the incredible second-half effort by Rogers — offensively and defensively — that was crucial to the Bears.
Rogers is “a workhorse,” Reeve said. “She’s great defensively too, for a forward. She just put herself in the right position to score and finished it.”
In addition to Rogers, a few critical substitutions made the difference over the course of the game. Kelly Conway ’18 played important defensive minutes in the first half, while Ashley Waldron ’18 — who was injured until this game — came in and played the majority of the second half. Brooke Bonfiglio ’17 and Maggie Mostoller ’18 provided substance offensively off the bench, with the former creating many of the corners from the outside.
“They were the spark,” Reeve said. “As soon as we started to make some subs, there was a different energy, and then everything changed.”
It took overtime for the Bears to take their first lead of the game. Four minutes and 51 seconds into the extra frame, Brown earned its ninth corner of the game. With Masini out, Ellie Seid ’19 inserted to Ayles, who pushed it to Angus, and this time she struck for her third goal of the season and second game-winner.
Overtime has been friendly to the Bears — over the last three seasons, Brown is 6-1 in overtime games, not including this year’s late win over Appalachian State, with Angus scoring after the regulation clock struck zero.
“They just have some confidence in overtime,” Reeve said. “They are very decided on what they want to do — and that’s score and get it over with.”