Following a 2-0 loss to Dartmouth last weekend, the women’s soccer team looked to capture its first Ivy League victory of the season in the conference home opener against Columbia Saturday. Despite Rebecca Rosen’s ’22 game-tying goal late in the second half, the Lions responded with a goal of their own to put them ahead 2-1 with just 44 seconds remaining on the clock.
The result marked Brown’s (4-6-1, 0-2-0 Ivy) fourth consecutive one-goal loss to the Lions (5-4-1, 2-0-0) in as many years, with all four of the winning goals having come in the 88th minute or later.
Despite the loss, there were a number of positive takeaways from the Brown side.
“I’m really proud of the team for leaving it all out there and still fighting with minutes left in the game,” said Head Coach Kia McNeill.
Columbia started the game firing out of the gate. Brown’s defense absorbed most of the initial pressure until the 19th minute, when Columbia’s Amaris Hemmings broke through. Hemmings finished off a loose ball near the penalty spot following a corner kick to put the Lions up 1-0.
But as the sun set over Stevenson-Pincince Field, the Bears’ confidence grew, and they responded to the goal with attacking threats of their own.
“(The goal) was a small setback, but it was early on in the game,” Rosen said. “I had all the confidence in the team that we would step it up. We gained momentum in the second half of the first half and kept it going throughout the rest of the game.”
“It was about telling ourselves that we had the tools to win the game,” said defender Lauren Hinton ’22. “We all had that forward-thinking mindset to get the ball to our top scorers. We were all on the same page.”
Scoring opportunities were certainly present, as the Bears outshot the Lions 13-3 in the second half and 20-8 overall. In the 65th minute, Abby Carchio ’20 curled a free kick from just outside of the box around a six-person Columbia wall into the waiting arms of the keeper. In the 83rd minute, Sara Bermudez ’22 headed a free kick from Maesyn G’Bye ’22 just over the crossbar. Bruno remained goalless through the first 87 minutes.
“At the end of the day, you have to put the ball in the back of the net in order to compete in these games,” McNeill said.
But in the 88th minute, the Bears evened the game at one. G’Bye lofted a free kick from midfield into the box that Rosen redirected into the left side of the net for her second goal of the year.
“Rosen is one of the best players in the league in the air, so anytime we have set pieces, we are looking to find her,” McNeill said.
Moments later, Brown pushed upfield once again. But a quick Columbia counterattack in the 90th minute, capped by Jordyn Geller slotting a shot to the right of the keeper, squandered the Bears’ hopes for a comeback.
Bruno seeks to make a number of improvements as it continues Ivy League play over the next few weeks.
“We just have to get more clinical in the final third,” McNeill said.
Brown needs to “keep having cohesion in the back and keep working on that defensive shape,” Hilton added.
The Bears travel to Princeton (6-2-2, 1-0-1) next weekend in search of their first league win. They will face a tough Tigers squad that has suffered its only two losses to nationally ranked opponents in #13 North Carolina State University and #10 Georgetown.