PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Junior Meghan O'Donnell (Winchester, Mass.) scored the game-tying goal early in the first half, but a converted penalty corner in the second period spelled a 2-1 loss for the Brown field hockey team against Quinnipiac in non-league action at Goldberger Family Field on Wednesday. The Bears fall to 4-6 overall with the loss, while the Bobcats improve to 7-5 on the season.
The visitors took charge early on a Jess Rusin turnaround shot from the top of the circle that split the defense to put Quinnipiac up 1-0 less than three minutes after the opening whistle. Junior Clayton Christus (Bernardsville, N.J.) nearly had an immediate answer for Brown with a hot shot off a penalty corner stop, but Bobcats goalie Megan Conaboy sprawled to her stick side to make a diving save.
O'Donnell tied things up at 1-1 at 8:02, corralling a long pass from Christus and flipping a backhanded shot into the bottom left corner. Neither team would score the rest of the half, although the visitors came close if not for senior Kelsey Grossman (Shavertown, Pa.), who stepped up in the cage for a defensive save at the 24:19 mark.
Junior goalkeeper Shannon McSweeney (Boxborough, Mass.) maintained the tie game with just over four minutes to play in the half when she left the comfort of the cage to challenge Quinnipiac's Lea Dietrichs, who streaked downfield on a breakaway. Dietrichs juked to her right but McSweeney slid feet first to knock the ball away.
Jennalise Taylor delivered the deciding blow in the 50th minute, one-timing a lateral pass from Rusin after the first stop on a penalty corner to put the Bobcats up 2-1. O'Donnell and sophomore Hannah Rogers (Los Altos, Calif.) looked to erase the deficit at 54:59 as O'Donnell dodged several defenders and led Rogers with a pass on a two-on-one breakaway. Conaboy slid to break up the play, however, and beat Rogers to the ball in a play strikingly similar to McSweeney's stop on the Dietrichs attempt.
Quinnipiac would outlast Brown over the final minutes and escape with the 2-1 victory.
McSweeney made six saves for the Bears while Conaboy made four for the Bobcats, who narrowly out-corned Brown 9-8 in the contest.
The Bears return to action on Sunday when they host No. 17 Louisville in non-conference action at 12 p.m.