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Women's lacrosse splits two-game California slate with win over Cal, loss to SDSU

Bears best Cal in one-goal game before failing to cut deficit in five-goal loss to San Diego State

For many students, spring break offers a respite from the dreary Providence winter — a time for the student body to escape to warmer climes. This year’s break gave the women’s lacrosse team a similar, sunny interlude.

The Bears (4-6, 0-3 Ivy) traveled to San Diego for a two-game, sun-soaked road trip against The University of California at Berkeley and San Diego State University. Bruno split the trip, besting Cal (2-9, 0-3 Pac-12) 14-13 and falling to SDSU (8-3, 2-1 Mountain West) 13-8.

The action started Wednesday with a matchup against the Golden Bears. The beginning of the game saw Cal swap the lead with their counterparts. Six goals in seven minutes tied the game at 3-3 before Cal netted five straight to stretch the advantage to 8-3 with just over 11 minutes to play in the first half.

A reactive Brown surge brought the score to 8-6 after a goal from Rachel Vercillo ’20 after a Cal penalty. But both defenses responded in the final 7:52 of the first half to keep the ball out of the net.

The second half was a contentious affair — neither Brown nor Cal would hold more than a two-goal lead.

Goals by Hafsa Moinuddin ’19, Carolyn Paletta ’18.5 and Zoe Verni ’19, along with a Cal goal, tied the game at nine.

The next few minutes saw Cal take a 12-11 lead. But two goals in a span of 37 seconds gave Bruno a 13-12 lead. Emma DeGennaro ’20 added another with 3:45 to play. Cal was able to grab one goal back, but that’s all they would get, as Bruno held on to win 14-13.

“We went down in the first half a little bit and weren’t playing our best lacrosse,” said Captain Mollie Lane ’17. “But it was just an awesome win that we were able to gut out in the end.”

Paletta led the Bears with a career-high six points on five goals and one assist, and Moinuddin added three goals and an assist of her own. Having tallied 21 goals each, the sophomore duo of Paletta and Moinuddin lead Bruno in scoring this season. Vercillo, DeGennaro and Verni each found the back of the net twice in the win.

Just two days later, the Bears took on SDSU at the latter’s home field. In a less competitive affair, the Aztecs recorded the win. Bruno was only able to notch two goals in the first half, while SDSU netted six.

The Aztecs converted two goals early in the second half to push the advantage to 8-2. Goals by Bri Irons ’18, Moinuddin, Paletta and DeGennaro would bring the game to 10-6, but Brown would never get closer than the four goal deficit. SDSU outscored Brown 7-6 in the second half to finish off the 13-8 win.

“It was definitely a challenge for us to have two games within three days,” Lane said. She added that the team struggled with “focus and attention to detail (and) … also being able to play when our bodies were so tired.”

With four conference games in the remaining month of their season, the Bears, who have yet to claim an Ivy League victory, are looking to heat up.

“We definitely have making the Ivy League Tournament on our radar,” Lane said. “That’s been one of our goals since the beginning of the season.”

Next, the Bears head to Ithaca to take on Cornell Saturday before hosting Harvard the following weekend. The next two games are “huge for us,” she said. “Both are very talented teams, so I think it will be a great challenge for us to see … how we can perform against such high-caliber teams.”

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