PROVIDENCE, RI – Trailing, 1-0, with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game, Yale (6-11, 3-4) responded from a timeout with two goals in a span of 6:47 to come back and earn a 2-1 win over the Brown field hockey team (6-11, 1-6) on Saturday afternoon in the season finale for both squads at the Goldberger Family Field.
The eventful day began for the Bears at two hours prior to the start of the game with a morning brunch to kick off the official dedication of Brown's new field hockey facility, the Goldberger Family Field. Tri-captains Kelley Harrison (Houston, TX), Avery Burns (Millersville, MD) and Maggie Brady (Tulsa, OK) all spoke at the brunch, while head coach Jill Reeve was also in attendance at the brunch.
Brown came out with energy and grabbed a 1-0 lead at 23:35 of the opening half when sophomore Clayton Christus (Bernardsville, NJ) collected a bouncing ball inside the circle after it was sent in from the right side by sophomore Meghan O'Donnell (Winchester, MA). Christus dribbled towards her left, before beating Yale goalie Emily Cain with a reverse to the left corner.
The two teams battled back-and-forth throughout the second half and Brown nearly increased its lead to 2-0 in the 53rd minute of play on a beautiful play by O'Donnell. With Yale attempting to clear the ball up field, O'Donnell stole the ball away from a Yale defender and dribbled in on a breakaway. O'Donnell deked the goalie and had a wide open net to shoot at, but her shot form the right side missed by a mere inches, hitting the outside of the cage at the near post.
That missed opportunity would prove to be critical in the waning moments, as Yale scored twice in the final nine minutes of the game to come back for the victory.
The tying goal came at 61:05 when Jessie Accurso, stationed at the left post, redirected a centering feed from Maddy Sharp into the upper left corner for her fourth goal of the year.
Following the goal Brown immediately called a timeout and pulled McSweeney from the cage in favor of a kicking back. The Bears were able to establish possession in the offensive zone, but could never generate any shots, and Yale was able to clear to hold on for the 2-1 win.
"I thought we started off sluggish today, but played ourselves into the game and did well to score and then had an opportunity to go up two," said Reeve. "I was really proud of our team effort and overall with this season. Our growth has been exponential and it's immeasurable at this moment, but I think we are going to be that team that is under the radar next season."
For the game, Yale outshot Brown, 16-6, and earned nine corners to Brown's none. McSweeney finished with 10 saves, while Cain made three for the Bulldogs.
The game was the final career contest for Harrison. Harrison played in 67 of 68 games during her career, starting 49, including all 34 over the past two seasons.