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Raphino ’23.5 continues hot streak as No. 21 women’s soccer downs Penn 2-1

Bears extend unbeaten streak against Ivy League opponents to 25 consecutive games

This win adds to Bruno’s now 25-game unbeaten streak against Ivy opponents since 2018. Across the streak, the Bears have won 23 and drawn two matches. Courtesy of Brown Athletics.
This win adds to Bruno’s now 25-game unbeaten streak against Ivy opponents since 2018. Across the streak, the Bears have won 23 and drawn two matches. Courtesy of Brown Athletics.

Goals from Brittany Raphino ’23.5 and Ava Seelenfreund ’23.5 pushed the No. 21 women’s soccer team (8-1-2, 4-0 Ivy) to a 2-1 victory over Penn (5-6-2, 0-3-1 Ivy) at home Saturday night. 

The Bears also won a midweek contest against Yale (5-4-3, 0-3-1) by a score of 4-1 in New Haven last Wednesday. Raphino posted a hat trick against the Bulldogs, and on Monday she was named Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week for the second consecutive week.

The pair of wins add to Bruno’s now 25-game unbeaten streak against Ivy opponents dating back to 2018. Over the course of the streak, the Bears have won 23 and drawn two matches. 

“It's really unheard of and we're in a really good position to never have lost a game,” said Seelenfreund. But “every game we're going to face in the Ivy League is a game where that's going to be tested because the league has been so elevated.”


The Bears opened the game in a high press, keeping the ball mostly on the attack. The Bears would manage to win five corner kicks in the first 11 minutes of play, three of which were taken in succession, though no goal came from the spell of set pieces. 

Bruno needed a fast start this weekend after their previous two weekends: Yale jumped out to an early lead in Wednesday’s match and Brown didn’t score until the second half in their match against Princeton Sept. 30. 

“We really talked about … starting on the front foot, which I think we did,” said Head Coach Kia McNeill. “We had five corner kicks in the first 15 minutes of the game and I think that shows you some of the attacking prowess that this team has.”

Seelenfreund opened the scoring in the 30th minute after Sheyenne Allen ’23.5 launched a long ball which Raphino headed into the path of Seelenfreund. Seelenfreund’s strike, an off-balance half-volley into the bottom left corner, marked her first of the season, breaking a prolonged scoring drought for the 2022 All-Ivy First Team forward. 

“It's a testament to all the work I've done and all the support (from) the team,” said Seelenfreund.

Penn managed to find the back of the net in the 40th minute, pulling even with the Bears and leaving the game knotted at one apiece entering halftime.

But it wasn’t long into the second half before Raphino netted her goal, a corner from Allen which deflected off Seelenfreund before landing for Raphino’s routine touch into the back of the net. That goal marked Raphino’s ninth of the season and sixth in the last three games, the most over such a span in her career. 

“I wouldn't be able to be in these positions and wouldn’t be able to dominate if I wasn't going against the best defenders and the best teammates during practice,” Raphino said. “Kia always emphasizes iron sharpens iron, and that's definitely what helps me be as successful as I am.”

Raphino’s goal and assist in the game marked her 92nd and 93rd career points for the Bears, tying her at second overall in program history with Debbie Ching ’83. Theresa Hirschauer ’89 holds the program record with 162.

While Raphino’s goal would ultimately conclude scoring for the day, Penn attempted to mount a late comeback attempt, shooting three times in the last five minutes. But Bruno’s defense held firm and the Bears were able to secure the victory.


“We got away from what was working for us early on in the game,” McNeill said. “I thought we were doing a good job connecting and keeping the ball and then … we were giving away a lot of unforced errors and turning the ball over in moments where we probably shouldn't have.” 

Bruno looks forward to a spell of three matches against Ivy opponents, including away games against Columbia Oct. 14 and Cornell Oct. 21 before returning home Oct. 28 against Dartmouth for their final game of the regular season.

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Dennis Carey

Dennis Carey is a Sports Editor who enjoys playing volleyball, listening to and collecting vinyl records, and poorly playing the guitar in his spare time.

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