The women’s lacrosse team (6-7, 3-3 Ivy League) defeated Cornell (7-7, 3-3) 12-11 Saturday at Stevenson-Pincince Field, leaving 12 team members in the class of 2022 with a thrilling Senior Day victory.
Attacker Maggie Fowler ’22 and midfielder Mia Mascone ’23 led the Bears with five combined goals and assists each, while attacker Sophia DeRosa ’22 scored four goals and attacker Claire Jeschke ’22.5 added a hat trick of her own.
On the defensive side, Erin Schafer ’22 caused three turnovers to lead an aggressive team defensive performance that consistently ran down the Big Red shot clock.
DeRosa began the contest when she received a precise centering pass from Fowler and slotted it into the net. Just two minutes later — after Fowler scored a goal of her own — DeRosa scored her second goal of the game, making a quick cut past her marker and receiving a pass from Mascone to slam home a point-blank effort.
Quickly down 3-0, Cornell crept back with two free-position goals, which proved to be the Big Red’s most fruitful offense tactic. Brown’s aggressive defense gave up nine free-position shots over the course of the game.
But before the end of the quarter, the Bears restored their three-goal lead after goals from Jeschke and Fowler, the latter of which was again assisted by Mascone. Standing at the top of the attacking zone, she threaded an unstoppable pass down low to Fowler, who finished through traffic.
“That’s how we get into our groove — those assisted goals,” Fowler said. “We love working together. We have a lot of great chemistry.”
Still, Cornell began the second quarter in control, with attacker Katie Castiello netting a tight-angle rip and midfielder Caitlin Slaminko scoring off a pass from a free position behind the net.
On Brown’s next offensive possession, Mascone rattled the inside of the post on a free position on a shot that looked to have also ruffled the net, leading the bench to think it had gone in.
Later in the possession, it appeared that midfielder Annie Burton ’25 had scored, but the officials ruled that a Cornell foul had occurred before the shot. On the ensuing free position, the ball ended up on the ground, sparking a frenzied and physical scrum in front of the net before it found its way into the stick of attacker Jackie Mason ’24.5, who quickly deposited it in the goal.
The two teams each scored once more before the end of the half, entering the locker rooms with Brown leading 7-5.
To begin the second half, Jeschke and DeRosa scored in rapid succession to give the Bears a four-goal advantage, their largest lead of the game.
But Cornell would net three unanswered goals after a timeout, fueled by three Brown turnovers and four Cornell free positions.
DeRosa gave the Bears a two-goal cushion with less than 30 seconds left in the quarter when she dumped a free-position shot from close range into the net, but Cornell pulled one back on a one-woman effort from Costello, who found the net with just 1.3 seconds left.
In the fourth quarter, Costello continued her heroic effort, scoring her fifth goal of the game to draw Cornell equal for the first time in the match.
But Jeschke responded a minute later, cutting down the right side before firing a shot to restore the Bruno lead.
Forty-eight seconds later, Mascone added the game’s exclamation point: Standing near the restraining line, she faked a cut left, leaving her marker behind, before bursting to her right and firing a pinpoint shot through the goalie’s legs.
Mascone’s goal proved crucial, as Cornell scored another to draw within one. A suffocating Brown defense the rest of the game forced two shot-clock violations for Big Red and kept the narrow lead intact. With 27 seconds left, on their final chance to equalize, Cornell committed a turnover. Midfielder Maddie Joyce ’24.5 picked up the ball and, against an aggressive 12-woman press, sent a long pass over the top to Mascone to eliminate the chance of an equalizer and kill the game.
“We want to be a suffocating defense (so) that people who play us, when they get back on the bus, say, ‘There was no way we could have gotten around them,’” said goalie Erin Tucker ’22.
Head Coach Keely McDonald said the defense was not perfect, but it was effective. “I thought we stuck to the game plan for the most part and when we didn’t, there were some holes, but what I liked most is that we recovered and then continued to play great for the rest of the half and the game,” she said.
After this win, Brown is now tied for third place in the Ivy League with Cornell and Harvard (5-7, 3-3) heading into its final conference game in Cambridge against the Crimson next weekend. The top four teams in the conference make the Ivy League tournament, to be held May 6 to 8.
“We needed this one and we just need one more next week,” Fowler said.
The win was particularly special for the senior class, who had never before beaten Cornell and were honored after the game. “Nothing feels better,” said Fowler of the senior day victory.