PROVIDENCE, RI – After leading by as many as three goals twice during the opening half only to see Harvard (2-7, 1-3) come back to take a 7-6 lead eight minutes after halftime, the Brown women's lacrosse team (8-2, 2-2) would outscore the Crimson, 9-2, during the final 20 minutes to pull away will a 15-9 win over Harvard. The win assures the Bears a winning season for the first time since 1999 when the team finished with a 7-7 record.
Head coach Keely McDonald called a timeout following the goal, and from that point on it was all Brown, as the Bears tied the game at 7-7 on Minges' fourth of the day and never looked back, outscoring Harvard, 8-2, the rest of the way.
The Crimson scored the first goal of the game, as Audrey Todd connected on a feed from Mariel Jenkins just 41 seconds after the opening draw. Minges would answer with an unassisted tally two minutes later and then goals by junior Grace Healy (Bellport, NY) and sophomore Abby Bunting (Wellesley, MA) increased Brown's lead to 3-1 7:13 into the game.
Harvard cut its deficit to a goal just shy of the 10-minute mark, but Minges connected on back-to-back free position goals two minutes apart to give Brown a 5-2 advantage with 8:07 left in the first half.
Harvard's Danielle Tetreault scored Harvard's first goal in nearly 20 minutes when she converted a free position attempt with 28 seconds left in the half. Bunting won the ensuing draw control and beat Jenn Hatfield on a one-on-one with 12 seconds remaining in the frame, but Alexis Nicolla made it a 6-4 game at the break, answering for Harvard with just four seconds left.
Nicolla opened the second half with her third of the afternoon at 28:33 and then Kyleigh Keating tied the game at 6-6 just five minutes later. Keating then assisted a goal by Micaela Cyr 1:40 later, as Harvard grabbed a 7-6 advantage, its first lead since going up, 1-0, in the game's first minute.
Following a Bears' timeout, Minges shifted momentum back towards Brown's favor, scoring her fourth of the afternoon off a feed from sophomore Janie Gion (Northfield, IL) to tie the score at 7-7 with 20:31 left in the game. Gion then put the Bears ahead for good just 1:12 later, scoring her first of two goals.
A pair of goals from junior Bre Hudgins (Syracuse, NY) two minutes apart gave Brown a 10-7 lead, but Nicolla's fourth of the afternoon brought Harvard back to within two goals, 10-8, with 15:26 remaining.
Hudgins scored her third in a row for Brown on a free position shot less than a minute after Nicolla's goal and then back-to-back goals by senior Kasey Wagner (Southborough, MA) and Gion gave the Bears a 13-8 lead with less than 10 mintues to play.
Harvard came to within 13-9 in the 51st minute, but goals by Wagner and junior Danielle Mastro (Endicott, NY) helped put the game out of reach and clinch the win for the Bears.
Healy led the Bears with five draw controls, while Bunting had a team-high three ground balls and junior Erin Roos (Wilmette, IL) had a team-high three caused turnovers.
Overall, Brown outshot Harvard, 28-18, and held a 9-7 advantage in ground balls and a 13-12 lead in draw controls.
Sophomore Kellie Roddy (Poway, CA) earned her eighth win of the season with seven saves in goal. The Bears have a quick turnaround before their next game. They return to Stevenson Field tomorrow afternoon to host in-state rival Bryant in the fourth annual Ocean State Cup game. Opening draw is at 2:00 p.m.
Pictured: Abby Bunting '15. Photo by DSPics.net.