September 2, 2011

Bears Fall to Unbeaten New Hampshire, 5-0, in Season Opener

DURHAM, NH – The Brown field hockey team (0-1) faced a tough University of New Hampshire squad on Friday afternoon in its season opener, falling to the Wildcats, 5-0.

"We were definitely feeling the nerves in our first match," said first-year Bears' head coach Jill Reeve. "I thought we were rushed in our passing and attacking, but we definitely learned a lot against a very strong UNH team and leave with some great takeaways for our next game."

The Wildcats came out firing on all cylinders, earning three penalty corners and five shots in the opening four minutes of play. New Hampshire finally broke through in the eighth minute of play when Whitney Frates scored following a rebound off a save by freshman Shannon McSweeney (Boxborough, MA).

New Hampshire would then score three times in a span of 2:18 from the 13:38 mark through the 15:56 mark, increasing its lead to 4-0, which is how it remained through the end of the first 35 minutes.

The Bears earned four corners for the game, including three in the first half, while freshman Meghan O'Donnell (Winchester, MA) led the team with a pair of shots. Freshman Clayton Christus (Bernardsville, NJ) also had one shot, on a Brown corner, which narrowly missed the back of the cage after a UNH defensive save in the 26th minute of play.

"I felt Shannon had an outstanding match," reflected Reeve. "Haley Alvarez (Martinsville, NJ) was also excellent, playing several different positions on the field for us. To have two freshmen help us stay together and give us opportunities was very promising."

McSweeney finished the game with 11 saves in her collegiate debut, seven of which were in the opening 35 minutes. Rookies Liza Green (Providence, RI) and Mary Harrison (Houston, TX) joined Alvarez, Christus, McSweeney and O'Donnell in making their collegiate debuts.

Brown returns to action on Sunday afternoon when it hosts UC Davis in an 11:00 a.m. game at Warner Roof. The home opener, originally scheduled for Saturday, September 3, was moved to Sunday to accommodate the Aggies' travel schedule, which was altered following Tropical Storm Irene. Live Stats and Live Video are available on Brownbears.com.