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Women’s lacrosse takes home first ranked win in four years

Head Coach Katrina Dowd debuts with two wins against UMass, Albany

<p>Senior Mia Mascone ’24 scored five times and assisted once for a total of six points against the Minutewomen.</p><p>Courtesy of Kayla Schuberth via Brown Athletics </p>

Senior Mia Mascone ’24 scored five times and assisted once for a total of six points against the Minutewomen.

Courtesy of Kayla Schuberth via Brown Athletics

The women’s lacrosse team (2-0) opened their season with wins against No. 22 University of Massachusetts (0-2) and University of Albany (0-4) this weekend. The Saturday upset against the Minutewomen was a dazzling introduction by first-year Head Coach Katrina Dowd.

Dowd, an already decorated coach and player, entered the program this summer and has seemingly already had a major impact on the Bears, who before Saturday hadn’t won a match against a ranked opponent since March 2020.

“We weren't surprised by the result, but I'm just so happy and excited for them to start the year off with a big win against a ranked opponent — an NCAA tournament team,” Dowd said. “It just shows their dedication and their hard work through the fall and in our preseason.”

“It's been really fun to play under (coaches) Katrina, Gait and Scotton. I think they have been great at making every player's job straightforward … so we are able to excel,” wrote attacker Mia Mascone ’24 in an email to The Herald. “When everyone is doing their job, we all play better — scoring more goals, causing turnovers in the ride, assisting, etc.”


While Dowd’s introduction already shows an improved Bears team, this weekend’s upset could not have happened without stellar individual performances by the Bears. Mascone found the back of the net five times during the game and assisted once, to notch six points total. 

The game against UMass was all about Bruno converting on their chances. Across the match, the Bears were outshot and had lost 21 of the 32 draw controls. This forced them to both stand strong defensively and be efficient on the attack. 

The first quarter of Saturday’s matchup was potentially the weakest for Bruno, who were outshot 11-5 despite coming out of the period down only 5-3. Opening the game and the season like this was certainly not ideal for a Bears team that had struggled so much against ranked opponents last season. 

The defensive unit led by goaltender Claire Mahoney ’26 kept Bruno in the game. She notched three of her eight saves during the match in the first quarter, denying the Minutewomen a much larger lead.

“Some of the keys for resisting the UMass attack were trusting our defensive unit,” Mahoney wrote in a message to The Herald. “Our unit spends a lot of time strategizing our approaches, and we were well prepared going into the game. Since we were able to trust ourselves, our teammates and our preparation, it gave us success on Saturday.”

Bruno opened the scoring from a man-up free position shot scored by midfielder Carly Camphausen ’24.5. 

“When you're playing hard and you're playing aggressive and we have so many players who are a threat, you know, you might draw some fouls and end up on the free position,” Dowd said.

The Bears then added to their lead after a pass from attacker Natalie Ahn ’24 found a charging Greta Criqui ’25, who scored but lost her stick in the process.

The Bears slowed down after this play, trading points with the Minutewomen to make the score 3-1 before UMass went on a three-point run to take the quarter 4-3.

Despite their strength in the first quarter, the Bears’ performance in the second was by far the most powerful of the match. Bruno collectively outshot the Minutewomen 9-2, and started a 6-0 run that began at 9:56 in the second and didn’t end until 12:41 in the third. The quarter ended with the Bears outscoring the Minutewomen 5-1 and went into halftime with a 9-5 lead.


“(I)t was a full-team effort to give us great momentum,” Mahoney wrote. “From the draw team who fought for every ground ball, to our defense who came up with amazing caused turnovers, to the attack who buried the ball — all being cheered on by our energetic sideline — truly everyone was involved in every play of the game.” 

From then on, the Bears had to focus on mitigating and responding to the powerful opposition attack. Both teams scrambled for a lead, with 16 goals between them in the second half. 

Bruno managed to remain in the lead during the third, tying UMass’s four goals with goals from Mascone, Camphausen and Maddie Joyce ’24.5. 

Entering the fourth, the Bears scored once to up their lead before conceding three straight goals. When it looked like things might take a turn for the worst, Mascone turned it around, notching her fifth goal of the day to keep the Bears on top by two points. 

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But Bruno would only stay up for a moment before conceding two straight goals, tying the game at 14-14 with just 3:52 to play. But Criqui would come in only a minute and a half later to score the winner.

In the last 10 seconds of the game, the Minutewomen pushed up the field, forcing an incredible last-second save from Mahoney to save the game and earn the Bears their first ranked upset in almost four years.

“After coming out of our timeout, the defense kept saying to each other, ‘nothing.’ When there is such little time on the clock, you can fully empty out your tank and focus all your energy on stopping the last offensive drive. I kept on telling myself ‘nothing’ and ‘hold them off,’ which put me in a great position to save that last shot,” Mahoney wrote. “It was our unit’s belief in our abilities that allowed us to make the final stop.”

The Bears rode the momentum from their win into the match against the University of Albany on Tuesday. Bruno blasted through the Great Danes in the first quarter, notching an early 5-2 lead from two goals from Julia Ford ’24, two from Mascone and one from Criqui.

The Bears never fell behind the Great Danes, and managed to force a staggering 13 turnovers over the course of the match. 

After the crushing first quarter, the game morphed into a defensive affair for Bruno. The second quarter was even between the two teams, with both notching two goals to keep the Bears ahead at three.

“I can't say enough good things about our defense. They really anchored that whole game. But yeah, we came out ready to play,” Dowd said.

The Bears looked to be in a little danger early in the third after conceding on back-to-back Great Dane attacks which brought the score to 8-6, but rallied to close the quarter out and extend their lead to 11-7 off of a 3-1 run at the end of the quarter.

The fourth quarter was again split, with both teams notching three goals a piece, and the Bears won the contest without ever falling behind.

“It is nice to start the season this way,” Mascone wrote. “I think the bigger takeaway was the feeling out there — just togetherness and fearlessness — more so than the win itself.”

Bruno looks to continue their strong opening to the season on Saturday at home against Sacred Heart.

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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