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Narrow win over Dartmouth kickstarts field hockey's Ivy campaign

Early goals by Miller ’16, Seid ’19 spark Bruno’s first victory over Big Green since 2006

Fresh off a disappointing pair of losses, the women’s field hockey team bounced back against Dartmouth and Georgetown on consecutive days, winning a pair of 2-1 games this weekend.

An Ivy League tilt against the Big Green (4-5, 0-2 Ivy) highlighted an important weekend for the Bears (5-5, 1-1). A loss to Columbia last weekend made all Ivy contests in the future more important, as two losses in conference play would all but eliminate any title hopes.

Despite falling to Dartmouth 6-1 a year ago, Brown came out of the gates much faster in this season’s matchup. A corner after five minutes yielded a save by the Dartmouth goalkeeper before Alexis Miller ’16 turned home her third goal of the season. It was only the Bears’ third time scoring first this year, and only the third time in the last two years that they have scored first in an Ivy League tilt.

Unfortunately for Brown, its lead lasted a little under three minutes: Dartmouth got a corner, and Rebecca Hu converted it after latching on to a Katie Hammaker ’19 save that landed right on the attacker’s stick.

But the Bears struck back almost immediately, with forward sub Katherine Kallergis ’18 making an impact on the left side of the field. She centered a pass towards Ellie Seid ’19, who hit the backboard for her third goal of the year.

“Something that we did a really great job of doing was staying composed after they scored,” Miller said. “We were confident and continued to support each other and trust each other and were able to stay in the game.”

“I thought that our team played really well, but we have been playing really well,” said Head Coach Jill Reeve. “But I felt like there was a different level of composure and determination in the group today.”

The first half ended with a 2-1 scoreline, and Brown led the way in penalty corners but remained behind in shots. It was a stark contrast from last year’s tilt, in which the Bears were outshot significantly in the first half and trailed 3-0 after eight minutes.

The second half was a defensive standoff, as both teams had fewer shots than they did in the first half. But there was still a plethora of quality chances for both sides, as Dartmouth registered seven corners and forced Hammaker into three saves. After a couple of timeouts late in the game, Seid and Miller were able to ice the remaining three minutes by keeping possession in the corner to see out Brown’s first Ivy win of the year.

“The win against Dartmouth was really big for us because it’s our first Ivy win other than Harvard for all the juniors and below,” Miller said. “It’s a step toward gaining the respect that we deserve. The first one with Columbia didn’t go the way that we wanted it to, so it was great to win.”

“It’s a big deal, because at this point in the season we’d be hard pressed if we had lost in this game, and we’d be having different conversations,” Reeve said. “But I think this is a feather in our cap. Dartmouth is a good team so I’m really excited for us, but I think that we’ve been playing well. We just finally got the result we’ve been looking for.”

First-years Hammaker, Seid, Maddie Ayles ’19 and Rachel Lanouette ’19  all played a majority of the game, and — more significantly — all made a considerable impact on the win.

Seid “executed the game plan perfectly at the end, and (Lanouette) really stepped it up in the second half,” Reeve said.

The first-years “are just really coachable and they put in 60-70 minute games,” she added. “They’re really, really helping us out.”

Sunday’s matchup against Georgetown (5-6) featured more substitutions than the Ivy tilt — a majority of the Brown starters played 60 to 70 minutes against the Big Green — but the Bears did not seem to miss a beat.

A first-half goal off an incredibly well executed corner for Anna Masini ’16 kickstarted the Bears after six-and-a-half minutes. Masini passed the ball to Emily Arciero ’16, who gave it to Miller, who slid the ball back to Masini for the easy tap-in at the near post. A much-needed tally for a team that had struggled with offensive production off corners, the goal excited the Brown coaching staff, who high-fived on the sideline.

A goal for Georgetown three-and-a-half minutes after the start of the second half brought the Hoyas back into the game. Georgetown dominated Brown offensively in the second half, registering five corners and forcing four saves from Hammaker, but the first-year held firm and did not allow another goal.

“Katie has been doing an outstanding job,” Miller said. “She’s really working her tail off and getting better every single day.”

But it was Miller’s time in the final moments of this game, as the senior captain took a ball from outside the apron before beating a couple defenders and shooting past a helpless Georgetown keeper. The goal was Miller’s second of the weekend and fourth of the season. Her eight points led the team.

“The goal against Georgetown was great,” Miller said. “I did not want to go into overtime because that’s been a theme of the year, and we wanted to end it in regulation this time.”

The Bears are 5-2 in one-goal games this year, with two overtime wins and another win off a goal that came after the regulation clock had struck zeros.

Brown takes on Harvard next weekend in its third Ivy game of the year as it looks to double its conference win total from last season.



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