The field hockey team (3-1) defeated Bryant University (0-5) in a commanding 5-1 victory Friday afternoon at Goldberger Family Field. The Bears’ third straight win gave them their best start to a season since their 3-0 start in 2014.
Head Coach Jill Reeve noted that even though the Ivy League season has yet to begin, the team is bringing a competitive approach to each game. “It doesn’t matter what jersey the other team has on, our performance still stays the same,” Reeve said. “We need to continue to grow our game, and I’m glad we got the win. But I’m still cautious, and that’s where I’m at right now. We have a lot to work on and that starts with continuing to create relationships on the field.”
Connections were made all over the field, helping four different Bears find the back of the net, with captain Danielle van Rootselaar ’22 scoring twice. Bruno started strong early in the first quarter as midfielder Lindsey Ross ’23 scored her first career goal in the sixth minute of the game. Bruno extended the lead to 2-0 when Ana Claire Piacentini ’23 scored from a deflection on a van Rootselaar shot off a penalty corner.
The Bulldogs would later catch the Bears on their heels as they cut Bruno’s lead to one to end the first quarter. This would be the only goal Brown’s defence allowed for the remainder of the game.
To end the first half, van Rootselaar made her presence known as she danced around the Bryant defense before firing a backhand shot to extend the lead to 3-1.
The Bears maintained their momentum from the first half, increasing the lead to 4-1 just 50 seconds into the second half. A 2-on-1 breakaway led to a Mikayla Walsh ’25 goal as a slot pass down the right side from Imogen Govan ’24 made it easy for Walsh to tap it in. Brown remained controlled in their play as the game progressed. In the last nine minutes of the game, van Rootselaar again carried the ball through the Bryant defense to further extend the lead to 5-1, solidifying the win for Bruno.
Van Rootselaar said she had to quickly adapt to changes in personnel before the game as her fellow captain, Emma Rosen ’22 was absent due to COVID-19 protocols. “It was definitely unexpected and last minute,” van Rootselaar said. “We did a great job of controlling the controllables and remaining poised throughout the game.”
Reeve mentioned how the Bears continue to see growth in the flow of their game as well as in handling the waves of attack that the Bryant offense presented. The calm mindset the team maintained was especially notable given the Bears’ numerous underclassmen contributors. Key players like Walsh, who scored and has started in all three games for Brown, helped facilitate Bruno’s aggressiveness on the field. “I’m always listening to my teammates whether they are behind or in front of me,” Walsh said.