Bears Drop 4-3 Heartbreaker to Dartmouth in Overtime

PROVIDENCE, RI – Dartmouth's Ali Savage, the current Ivy League Rookie of the Week, scored the game-winning goal exactly eight minutes into overtime to lift the visiting Big Green (5-2, 2-0) to a 4-3 overtime win over the Brown field hockey team (1-6, 0-2) on Saturday afternoon at Warner Roof.

Savage's goal completed Dartmouth's come-back, as the Big Green tied the game three separate times, but never led until the overtime winner.

"I am really proud of our effort today," said head coach Jill Reeve. "The team played the best they have all season and that is our benchmark now. I think we gave Dartmouth a run for the money and I look forward to our next steps.

"Shannon played excellent today and our defensive corner unit was rock solid. It was great to see the team play the way they are capable of."

Despite getting outshot, 13-5, during the opening 35 minutes, it was Brown that would grab a 1-0 lead. From outside the circle, senior Bridget McNamara (Bethesda, MD) sent the ball towards the net. It deflected off a Dartmouth stick and up and over the crowd, right to freshman Meghan O'Donnell (Winchester, MA) on the left post. O'Donnell settled the ball, turned and fired a shot to the near side for her third goal of the season and a 1-0 lead at 20:49.

The Bears' defense withstood five Dartmouth penalty corners in the half and freshman Shannon McSweeney (Boxborough, MA) had five saves in addition to several plays where she came out to break up Dartmouth chances.

The Big Green got the equalizer on a bit of a fluke goal just six minutes after halftime. After Janine Leger's shot from the right side ricocheted off the cross bar, it fell right to Maya Herm, who knocked the ball into the partially open net from the left side at 41:09.

However, the Bears responded just 1:36 later, when senior Leslie Springmeyer (New Vernon, NJ) collected the ball off a rebound of a saved shot by O'Donnell and lifted it over Dartmouth's Meagan Vakiener for a 2-1 Brown lead at the 42:45 mark.

The lead did not last long, however, as Samantha McPherson tied the game at 2-2 with a shot from the top right of the circle that hit the far side at 44:46.

Again, Brown had an answer, taking a 3-2 lead just five minutes later on O'Donnell's second of the game. On the right side, sophomore Avery Burns (Millersville, MD) passed the ball to O'Donnell, who dribbled towards the goal and shot to the left corner from goal line extended.

The Big Green ended the scoring spree at 53:30 when leading scorer Kelly Hood lifted the ball to the upper left corner on a Dartmouth penalty corner, tying the game at 3-3.

Both teams had chances to win the game in regulation, but Vakiener made a save on a shot by McNamara with less than four minutes left and then McSweeney recorded three saves in the final 1:18, two of which came in the final seven seconds of the game, as the teams headed for overtime.

For the game, Dartmouth recorded 35 shots to Brown's 13, including an 8-3 margin in the extra frame. McSweeney finished with 14 saves, while Vakiener made eight for the Big Green. Penalty corners were 17 to four in favor of Dartmouth. 

Brown has a quick turnaround for its next game, as the Bears host Colgate at 12:00 noon tomorrow, Sunday, September 25th.

Pictured: Meghan O'Donnell '15. Photo by DSPics.net.