Brown Women End Season Ranked 3rd in Nation
A long and inspiring season came to an end yesterday as Stanford pulled away with 10 minutes left to beat Brown in the national semi-final. The match was played in Steuber Stadium in front of a large and loud BROWN crowd! Alums from the bay area and families of players filled the Brown side and cheered themselves hoarse over he course of a very exciting match.
Brown Draws Stanford at Stanford
The match pitted Browns power against Stanfords explosive speed. Brown came out hard from the opening kick-off and had the momentum, controlling the ball in the loose and using the forwards to punch and pick. Twenty minutes in Stanford struck scoring in the corner to go ahead 5-0. Ten minutes later Stanford’s USA 7’s player, Jess Watkins got a ball wide and ran away from the Brown defense to put Stanford up 12-0.
But Brown kept hammering away, the Brown scrums were superb, driving Stanford back and stealing Cardinal ball. The Brown scrum was rewarded in the 35 minute with a beautiful walk over try. Minutes before the half ended the Stanford fullback go lose on a penalty and the first half ended 17-5. As always the score hardly conveys the intensity and competitiveness of the match. The Brown back triangle was amazing, laying out some big hits on the Stanford wings and fullback and covering the constant Stanford kicking barrage. The back line played with power and heart hitting the Stanford backs and winning the point of contact. Brown came into the second half fired up and hungry for the win. Brown gained the momentum and drove Stanford back behind their 50. Fifty two minutes in Center Frankie Male ‘09 ran a beautiful switch and drove multiple Stanford defenders over the line to score, she converted her try and the score was 17-12. The Brown players were on fire, driving Stanford off the ball and making spectacular hits. With ten minutes to go Stanford grabbed a loose ball and raced on to go up 24-12. The pace of the match began to take its toll and Brown had to risk the ball out which favored Stanford. The result was another try for the Cardinals and a final of 31–12 at the whistle.
While there were many tears at the end of the match the coaches and players were (and are) very proud of the match and of the year. Penn State and Stanford have immense resources in comparison to Brown – its not likely Stanford players were selling cupcakes to fund their season – and its a massive undertaking to challenge them. But we are committed to just that - to returning next year to the final four intent on winning it. The team is losing a number of seniors but the players remaining are talented and battle tested we will be a force next year.
This match also was the last for Assistant coach and trainer, Tom Dill. Tom is moving to Colorado for work in June and will be sorely missed. Please join me in thanking Tom for his hard work and commitment to keeping your daughters taped together over the course of many seasons.
... just a little sad
It is hard to convey what a joy it is to work with this team. Other coaches are envious of Brown players, I hear constant accolades from my peers about Browns tenacity, skill and determination but primarily I hear “what a great group of women!” Brown players are unfailingly supportive of each other and consistently rise to the occasion. Looking into the stands after the match and seeing all those alumnae and family members stomping, clapping and cheering I was moved to tears. This program is something very special, there is something very ‘Brown’ about it – a long line of players who are creative, smart, brave and committed to achieving. On behalf of the players and coaching staff I want to thank you for all of your support over the year – it means a great deal to get your emails, calls and...checks. Its clear that the team has a large extended family and that warmth and support means a lot to us know as we are just a little sad.
Contact: Kerri Heffernan
Email: Kerrissa_Heffernanbrown [dot] edu