The women’s soccer team (5-3) cruised to a 3-1 victory over the Northeastern University Huskies (3-4-1) Sunday afternoon at Stevenson-Pincince Field. After two tough road losses to the University of Notre Dame and Providence College, both of which finished 2-1, this weekend’s win was much-needed for Brown as they prepare for conference play against Ivy League opponents. The Bears were led by a pair of goals from rookie forward Miya Grant-Clavijo ’25, another goal from forward Brittany Raphino ’23 and five saves from goalie Kayla Thompson ’21.5.
Brown remained on the attack after the initial goals, running the Northeastern defense ragged as they pushed towards the goal repeatedly. Grant-Clavijo tried to complete her hat trick on multiple separate occasions, but the Northeastern defense held firm. The second half followed a similar pattern to the first: sporadic Huskies’ attacks fended off by the Bears, followed by prolonged stretches of Bruno possessing the ball. The game started to get more physical in the second half, with each team being issued a yellow card. Northeastern got on the board in the 63rd minute on a penalty kick by Katherine Marchessault to cut the lead to 2-1. The Bears responded quickly, with Raphino scoring her third goal of the season in the 69th minute off an assist from midfielder Gianna De Priest ’25. Head Coach Kia McNeill was able to rotate other players in as the game wound down, and Brown held off Northeastern en route to a 3-1 victory.
McNeill’s biggest takeaway from the win was her team’s versatility, depth and preparedness. “One of the biggest things I take away is just how much depth we have. We can rotate a lot of players up top and in the midfield,” she said. “We played a different formation today that we haven’t played this season yet, so our girls are really receptive. They take feedback really well (and) they can implement a game plan really well. That’s a good thing to have going into Ivy play.”
After a grueling three-game road trip, the team appreciated being back in Providence in front of a friendly crowd. “We love seeing people out here.”
The Huskies’ goal to cut the Bears’ lead to one was a pivotal moment in the game. But being able to respond with another score was crucial to Brown’s victory, according to Raphino. Her goal “was really important because (Northeastern) had the momentum,” she said. “They were really fired up after (the goal), so the fact that we capitalized and came back and got another one was huge.”
Raphino is confident as the team heads into Ivy League play. “We can put multiple goals away on anybody,” she said. “No one in the Ivy League can stop us. We just need to keep going at ‘em and keep the fire going.”
For Thompson, the start of conference play is a new chapter for the team. “We’ve talked about this being the end of one season and (the start of) another,” she said.
Though the team’s non-conference schedule was rocky at times, McNeill was happy with how it went overall. “We purposely scheduled a tough non-conference schedule to get us ready for Ivy League play. I think regardless of some of the results, I still feel like we were in every game and (in) a lot of those games the ball could have bounced either way,” she said. “We feel really confident and it was a convincing win today. We’ll get back at it this week to get ready for Dartmouth.”
The Bears will kick off their Ivy League season Saturday at home against the Big Green at 7:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.