Bears Narrowly Fall to Harvard, 14-13, in Thrilling Ivy Opener

March 22, 2008

Box Score

CAMBRIDGE, MA - The Brown women's lacrosse team (2-5, 0-1) battled Harvard (6-1, 1-0) for 60 minutes, but came up one short in a thrilling 14-13 Ivy League lacrosse game at Harvard's Jordan Field. The Bears had a chance to tie it with 10 seconds remaining, but were unable to get a shot off as the Crimson held on for the win in the League opener for both teams. Brown was led by junior Jesse Nunn (Worton, MD) with four goals, while junior Lauren Vitkus (Skaneateles, NY) and three goals and two assists and freshman Alexa Caldwell (Middletown, MD) added three goals and one assist.

The Bears opened the scoring 2:21 into the game when Vitkus was awarded a free position shot to the left of the center hash. Instead of shooting, Vitkus passed to Nunn to the right of the cage and Nunn gave the Bears a 1-0 lead, beating Kathryn Tylander stick-side high.

The Crimson responded with an unassisted goal by Natalie Curtis 3:20 later to tie the game at 1-1, but the Bears scored twice over the next four minutes to grab a 3-1 lead 9:35 into the game. Nunn scored her second of the day on a free position shot at 7:11 and then junior Krystina DeLuca (Hillsborough, NJ) connected on another free position shot 2:24 later to give Brown the two-goal lead.

However, Harvard scored three straight unassisted goals over the next 4:13 to take its first lead of the afternoon, 4-3, with 16:12 to go in the half.

Nunn halted the Crimson's momentum, connecting for her third goal of the half 29 seconds later when Caldwell passed to her from behind the cage and Nunn quick-sticked the ball into the back of the net to tie the score at 4-4.

The two teams traded goals over a span of 51 seconds four minutes later, as Tara Schoen gave Harvard a 5-4 lead with 11:11 remaining and then senior Jadie DeTolla (Stony Brook, NY) scored another free position goal with 10:20 remaining for a 5-5 score.

The Crimson took a 7-5 lead at 24:13 with back-to-back goals by Jess Halpern three minutes apart. After a goal by Vitkus 30 seconds later made it a 7-6 game, Harvard scored two more goals in a span of 2:01 to take a 9-6 lead, its largest of the half, with 3:26 to go before the break.

The Bears closed the gap to 9-8 before half-time on goals by Caldwell, assisted by Vitkus, with 2:41 left and DeTolla, on a free position shot, with 57 seconds left.

Harvard went up 10-8 when Halpern scored her third of the game 1:35 into the second half. However, Brown scored the next three goals, including two by Vitkus 1:52 apart, with her second goal on a free position shot tying the game at 10-10.

The Bears then earned their first lead since holding a 3-2 advantage with 18:37 left in the first half, when Nunn capped the three-goal run and a beautiful transition with her fourth of the game 9:47 into the second half. The play started inside Brown's defensive restraining line when sophomore Molly McCarthy (Scituate, MA) drew a charge on Curtis. McCarthy ran the ball into the Bears' defensive third, passed to DeLuca on her left, and then DeLuca spotted a wide-open Nunn directly in front of the goal. Nunn turned and fired to give the Bears an 11-10 lead with 20:13 remaining.

Harvard halted Brown's momentum with a goal three minutes later, but Caldwell's second of the game with 14:51 left regained the one-goal lead for the Bears. The Crimson responded again, tying the game at 12-12 when Kaitlin Martin scored an unassisted goal 37 seconds later. Lauren Bobzin then gave Harvard a 13-12 lead with just under 10 minutes remaining, scoring on a free position shot. Halpern's fourth of the afternoon 2:32 later gave the Crimson a 14-12 lead with 7:27 left, forcing Brown to call a timeout.

The Crimson won the ensuing draw control and we able to maintain possession for the next four minutes, killing time off the clock, before junior Noelle DiGioia (Pittsburgh, PA) caused a turnover. The Bears went down on the attack and Caldwell scored her third of the game on a crease roll to bring Brown to within one with 3:06 left.

Nunn picked the ball up on the ensuing draw control, but the Bears couldn't net the equalizer, turning the ball over with 1:29 left to play. Just as the Crimson got the ball over the 50, with 1:22 remaining, Harvard called a timeout. Upon the restart, the Crimson were able to control the ball for nearly the rest of the game, but a turnover gave Brown the ball with 15 seconds remaining. Vitkus passed the ball up the field to Nunn, who was just inside the far restraining line, but the Bears were unable to get a shot off as Harvard earned a one-goal victory over Brown for the second straight year, while the Bears dropped their third one-goal decision of the season.

Senior Melissa King (Pepper Pike, OH) recorded eight saves in net, while McCarthy and DiGioia each had a pair of caused turnovers to help lead the Brown defense. Freshman Paris Waterman (Newark, DE) led the Bears with two ground balls.

Brown takes a break from Ivy League play and continues action on Wednesday, March 26, when it travels to Wilton (CT) High School to face Marist in a neutral site game at 5:00 p.m.