Brown (2-2, 0-1 Ivy) took on No. 16 Dartmouth (3-0, 1-0 Ivy) in its first conference game of the season Saturday, ultimately falling by one point in a nail-bitingly close matchup in which the teams were tied seven times before entering overtime.
“We’ve got a lot to learn from this game. It was a great battle,” said Head Coach Keely McDonald ’00. “When it ends in overtime, it’s especially tough to lose, but overall the effort was outstanding by both teams.”
Brown was trampled by Dartmouth as the first half opened. The Big Green took the first draw and immediately nabbed two Bruno fouls. They followed up minutes later with their first goal, 2:46 into the period. Brown drew control on the next play, but lost possession on an unforced turnover, a pattern that would repeat frequently over the next hour. While Brown won the majority of the draws at 17-8, its turnover rate all but cancelled out the effect of these successes. The Bears committed 21 turnovers to Dartmouth’s 13. Dartmouth continued to make efficient use of their possession opportunities, following up with two goals 11:58 and 12:55 into the first half to secure a 3-0 lead. With its back against the wall halfway through the first stanza, Brown began to amp up its intensity. At 14:08 a pair of Dartmouth fouls created a free position shooting opportunity for attacker Alaina Parisella ’22, who got Brown’s first goal on the board to inject some momentum into the Bears.
This was enough to draw the Bears out of hibernation, as they won the next draw and kept possession long enough to incur another free position shot, which attacker Risa Mosenthal ’21 rocketed in to make the score 3-2. Mosenthal would go on to net four of Brown’s 11 goals, tying her with attacker Sophia DeRosa ’22 as team’s season leader in scoring with 11 on the year. DeRosa scored three goals against Dartmouth, all of which gave Brown the lead.
The Big Green answered back just over a minute later with another successful shot to push the lead back to two. But goalkeeper Erin Tucker ’22 made a narrow save to keep hope alive for the Bears. With 9:50 remaining, defender Allison Lanzone ’21 found a rare shooting opportunity off a successful Brown clear to notch the first goal of her collegiate career, cutting the Bears’ deficit to 4-3. Dartmouth continued to fight, tallying another goal a couple minutes later to bring the score to 5-3. But Bruno had already begun to get into a groove and recovered with another close save by Tucker. Attacker Nathalie Ahn ’23’s successful free position attempt put the Bears back within a goal of the lead. A ground ball save by Tucker kicked off a ferocious Bruno scoring run as Mosenthal, assisted by DeRosa, set up the Bears’ first tie of the day at five-all. Then, DeRosa catapulted herself down the field, twisting and weaving around a torrent of Green defenders, to claim Brown’s first lead of the match with a low reverse shot at two minutes remaining in the first half. Despite falling behind by three goals, Brown’s tenacity and technical prowess saw them enter the second stanza on top of Dartmouth, 6-5.
“We did a good job of moving fluidly off of our plays,” DeRosa said.
The first five minutes of the final half passed scoreless. Another Tucker save staved off a second tie, but a Bruno turnover sent the ball into a mob of Dartmouth attackers who descended on the crease to slip one past Brown defense and bring the score to six-all.
After several minutes more of back-and-forth play, Mosenthal converted on a free position attempt to snatch the lead back at 7-6. Less than a minute later, Dartmouth responded to set the teams equal once again. But Big Green could not shake DeRosa — the attacker barreled through Dartmouth’s defenders to smash her second lead-gaining goal of the match, bringing the score to 8-7 just under 10 minutes into the final period.
A steely save from Tucker held the lead out a couple minutes more. Dartmouth called their first timeout just over two minutes into the period, and a stubborn Big Green returned, chipping away at the Bears’ defense to re-tie the game at eight-all just 20 seconds after returning from the time out. This series of events replayed almost exactly as Tucker absorbed another shot to protect the score, followed by a Brown timeout. The timeout did not assist in fending off Dartmouth though, as the Big Green scored just 20 seconds after returning to the field, pushing the scoreboard to 9-8 against the Bears.
Mosenthal was unfazed, coming back to tie the game at nine within a minute of Dartmouth’s goal. DeRosa kept the streak alive, effortlessly ping-ponging between desperate defenders on a free position attempt to tear the lead out of the Big Green’s jaws a minute later, 10-9.
At the top of the final 10 minutes in the period, Dartmouth managed to regroup and sink a pair of goals past the Brown defense at 20:08 and 23:34 respectively. But at 25:51, midfielder Claire Jeschke ’22 surprised the field with a tie-clinching free position attempt. Dartmouth called two timeouts in under two minutes in an attempt to undo Jeschke’s damage, but were fought back by a decisive save from Tucker in the final 30 seconds of play, bringing the game to overtime. “We focus a lot on next play mentality,” said midfielder Kelsey Shea ’22. “Of course sudden death overtime is a big deal, but it’s all the plays leading up to the tie that got us there.”
Brown fought tooth and nail to control the bonus stanza, but control was drawn by Dartmouth, who maintained possession for the entirety of the sudden death period. In the final minute and a half of the period, a Brown foul created a free position attempt, which Dartmouth took to win the game 12-11. “The game we played today will make us better as a team,” DeRosa said. “We’ll be even more focused going forward. The next time we see (Dartmouth), hopefully we’ll win.”
Women’s lacrosse next takes the field against the College of the Holy Cross at home today.