Bears Drop Hard-Fought Game to #9 Dartmouth, 9-7

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Brown women’s lacrosse team (4-4, 1-3) stayed with #9 Dartmouth (7-1, 3-0) for the first 30 minutes of play, but a five-goal run by the Big Green at the start of the second half would prove to be the difference, as Dartmouth held on for a 9-7 win over the Bears on Saturday afternoon at Stevenson Field. Trailing, 9-4, Brown attempted a late comeback, scoring three times in the final five minutes, but could get no closer than the final score.

Brown’s defense was strong throughout, as it marks just the second time all season that Dartmouth has been held to fewer than 10 goals and the first time since scoring eight in its season-opener at New Hampshire.

Both teams came out of the gates with energy, as they battled back-and-forth for the game’s first goal. Dartmouth’s Sarah Parks would eventually put the visitors up, 1-0, when she connected on a free position shot 5:23 into the game.

The lead was shortlived, however, as back-to-back unassisted goals by freshman Lindsay Minges (Rochester, NY) and junior Paris Waterman (Newark, DE) just 46 seconds apart gave the Bears a 2-1 lead at the 8:59 mark.

The two teams traded a pair of goals with Parks and Abigail Holden each scoring for Dartmouth, as the Big Green took a 3-2 lead at 18:35. Waterman answered for Brown just 53 seconds later to tie the score at 3-3 and another Minges goal with 6:24 remaining in the half gave the Bears a 4-3 advantage.

Greta Meyer would tie things up, at 4-4, connecting on a free position shot with 1:13 left before halftime.

The Big Green stormed out of the break, as Sarah Plumb and Kirsten Goldberg scored back-to-back goals in the first 5:36 of the half to give Dartmouth a 6-4 lead. A pair of unassisted tallies from Parks and Plumb over the next 10 minutes would increase the lead to 8-4 with 14:10 left to play.

The Bears won the ensuing draw control, but a turnover in the offensive zone gave the ball back to the Big Green with 11:40 left in the game. As soon as Dartmouth cleared the ball, they began to stall on offense, forcing Brown to pressure the ball all over the field, while opening things up. With Bears’ sophomore goalie Isabel Harvey (Baltimore, MD) out helping to pressure Dartmouth, and under nine minutes left to play, Parks put away a feed from Meyer to give the Big Green its biggest lead of the day, 9-4, with 8:39 left.

Harvey helped to start Brown’s comeback attempt, stopping a Hana Bowers stho from point-blank range 10 seconds after Dartmouth’s ninth goal. The Bears worked the ball up the field and after an Alexa Caldwell (Middletown, DE) shot went wide and another attempt by sophomore Kaela McGilloway (Sea Cliff, NY) hit the post, McGilloway finally ended Brown’s scoring drought, connecting on a free position attempt with 5:41 left. Caldwell won a critical draw for Brown following the goal and 35 seconds later brought the Bears to within 9-6, forcing Dartmouth to call a timeout

Colleen Olsen won the ensuing draw for the Big Green, as Dartmouth set up again in the offensive zone, looking to burn time off the clock. Brown finally got the ball back on a stick check by Caldwell with 2:53 remaining and the Bears’ junior beat Julie Wadland with a free position shot at the 28:34 mark to bring Brown to within 9-7.

Another draw control win for the Big Green appeared to clinch the win, but senior Molly McCarthy (Scituate, MA) caused another turnover deep in Brown’s territory, as Brown had another chance to gain ground with a free position attempt for Waterman. However, her shot with 26 seconds left was blocked by the Dartmouth defense, and Brown could get no closer.

The Bears held advantages in ground balls (18-16), draw controls (11-7), and caused turnovers (7-6), while Dartmouth outshot Brown by a 21-17 margin. McCarthy, Waterman, Harvey, and senior Kara Kelly (Garden City, NY) led Brown with three ground balls each, while McCarthy led the Bears with three draw controls and three caused turnovers.

Harvey finished the afternoon with seven saves, while Wadland made three for the Big Green.

Brown continues action on Tuesday night when it makes the short trip to Smithfield to face Bryant in a 7:00 p.m. non-league contest.

Pictured: Alexa Caldwell ’11. Photo by DSPics.net.