The women’s lacrosse team opened its 2017 campaign with a 19-0 trouncing of Sacred Heart Saturday at Stevenson-Pincince Field. Bruno avenged last season’s loss to the Pioneers while posting its first shutout since 1982 against Division III Bridgewater State.
Mikaela Karlsson ’18 made her first career start in goal, stopping all nine shots on goal in 53 minutes of play. Maggie Bigelow ’20 entered the game for the final seven minutes but did not face a shot, preserving the shutout for the Bears (2-0). Defensively, Brown forced eight turnovers and frustrated the Pioneers’ (0-1) attack, which struggled to generate scoring opportunities.
“It says great things about Mikaela and really great things about the whole program,” said Head Coach Keely McDonald ’00. “A shutout goes to the defense, it goes to the attackers who are scoring goals, it goes to the sidelines — it’s really a team effort.”
“I guess nobody was expecting (the shutout),” Karlsson said. “I was trying not to think about it too much and not jinx it at halftime. You just try to stay in the moment.”
Brown enjoyed contributions from several different players offensively, with Hafsa Moinuddin ’19 leading the way with five goals and an assist. Moinuddin wasted no time after the opening draw, recording a natural hat trick in the first five minutes to give Brown a 3-0 lead. Eight different Brown players notched at least a goal in the contest, with Carolyn Paletta ’18.5, Zoe Verni ’19 and Grace Plassche ’19 all netting three goals each.
“It was great to have contributions from so many different people and to execute all the different aspects that we’ve been working on,” McDonald said.
The Bears led 12-0 at the half and held a 26-7 advantage in shots, never looking back after Moinuddin’s strong start. Refusing to take its foot off the gas, Brown kept the pressure on the Pioneers until the final buzzer, notching its final goal with just 49 seconds to play. Paige Hammick faced 26 shots on net in total for Sacred Heart, recording just seven saves.
Brown had the advantage in nearly every statistical category, including advantages in shots, ground balls, clears and turnovers caused.
A 90-second shot clock was implemented for women’s college lacrosse starting this season, resetting only with a shot on goal, a save or a change of possession. But with scoring chances coming easily, the timer presented little difficulty for the Bears.
“We handled it well,” McDonald said. “It doesn’t change anything for catching and throwing, so we work on our fundamentals. We work on our shooting and all of those things. The shot clock is really exciting for fans. It’s really fun to be a part of a new era for women’s lacrosse.”
“They love it,” Karlsson said. “For our defense especially, it’s like a new goal. We know that if we do our job for 90 seconds, we’re going to get the ball back.”
Thanks to stifling defense from Brown, the Pioneers failed to shoot before the 90-second clock ran out on several occasions.
McDonald pulled several members of the Brown starting lineup for substitutes in the second half of the contest. Twenty-four different players entered the game by the final whistle for Bruno.
Being able to spread out playing time was amazing, McDonald said. “These women work so hard, so to get to wear the jersey on the game field — there’s nothing like it.” The Bears continued their hot start to the season with a win over Holy Cross Tuesday, beating the Crusaders 9-4.
Brown will continue early season play, traveling to Orlando, Florida to take on Louisville Saturday.