The field hockey team (8-7, 1-4 Ivy League) fell 4-0 to No. 13 Wake Forest University (13-4, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) in a home game Sunday.
The family weekend defeat, which was the first ever Bears field hockey game to be televised on the New England Sports Network, marked the team’s second straight game being shut out and their fifth consecutive loss after opening the season with an 8-2 record.
“I am very pleased with how we played and matched up,” Head Coach Britt Broady wrote in an email to The Herald. “Although you wouldn’t think so by the scoreline, this was a step forward in our growth.”
Wake Forest took a quick 1-0 lead with a goal on a penalty corner just over two minutes in and scored again on a quick shot from the top of the circle in the final minute of the first quarter. Neither team scored in the second quarter, but the Demon Deacons added another penalty corner goal in the third and a goal off a deflected shot in the fourth.
“Wake Forest is very technically skilled on both an individual and team level,” Celia Donner ’24 wrote in a message to The Herald. “Their high speed of play and sustained attack momentum made them one of the toughest opponents we have faced this season.”
“Wake is a very … experienced team who competes regularly with the best in the country,” Broady wrote. “They are strong and are poised to peak at the right time. We are at a different phase in our development yet still competed throughout every minute of the match.”
The Bears struggled on offense all game, managing just three shots on goal to Wake Forest’s 14. Though the Bears were ultimately unable to score, they had some promising opportunities, such as a strong shot on goal from Lexi Pellegrino ’26 in the third quarter that was saved by Wake Forest goalkeeper Ellie Todd.
“It was frustrating to be held scoreless when we held possession and attacked well in the second half,” Broady wrote. “Their goalkeeper saved two outstanding shots that against most others would be sure goals.
Brown goalkeeper Jodie Brine ’23 also had an impressive performance, racking up a season-high 10 saves, the second time she has reached double-digit saves in her Brown career.
“Going into the game I knew I was going to have a lot of action and I was honestly very excited by it,” Brine wrote in a message to The Herald. “I find it much easier to play these faster paced games as I think two of my greatest strengths are my reactions and speed in the goal.”
“I also give the whole team’s defense a significant amount of credit, they create plays which makes it much easier for me to perform,” she added.
Three of the Bears’ five straight losses have been against conference opponents, with losses to Columbia, Penn and Cornell. In Brown’s last game before facing Wake Forest, Cornell shut out the Bears 1-0 in Providence on Friday afternoon. After opening the season 8-2 on the back of separate five- and three-game winning streaks, Bruno’s momentum has swung in the opposite direction.
“I had the opportunity to speak with (former Director of Athletics) Mike ‘Goldie’ Goldberger after the game against Cornell,” Broady wrote. “He said, ‘In football, the team that dominates for 95% of the game always wins. Field hockey just isn’t that way.’”
“I guess that’s one of the aspects that makes this sport so fun … and frustrating. We dominated the match and made very few errors in our (loss) against Cornell, yet they walked away with the win. … We beat Cornell for 95% of the game. They capitalized and we didn’t. Getting back to attacking basics and putting the ball in the back of the cage will be our focus as we finish our season.”
The Bears hope to end their season on a positive note heading into the final two games of conference play against Princeton and Harvard.
“Our two upcoming games will be an opportunity to showcase the growth we’ve achieved over the course of the season,” Donner wrote. “I believe we are more prepared than ever to face our final opponents.”