The field hockey team began Saturday's game against Bates with a bang, when Cathleen Smith '13 scored the first goal only 16 seconds into the game. This would be the first of many goals for the undefeated Polar Bears, as they continued to apply successful offensive pressure for the rest of the first half.

Goals from Emily French '12, Elizabeth Clegg '12 and Katie Herter '12 brought the halftime score to 5-0 in Bowdoin's favor. After halftime, however, Bates was awarded a few penalty corners for fouls and ultimately managed to slip a goal past the Bowdoin defense.

"It was disappointing to give up a few corners in a row," captain Shannon Malloy '11 said, "but it was a good shot. There was nothing we could have done."

The girls had little need to worry in this game, however, as a goal from captain Ingrid Oelschlager '11 and two goals from first year Katherine Riley brought the final score to 8-1. Oeschlager, who plays midfielder, frequently takes shots on goal, and said that this particular goal was a "funny" shot.

"It was a slow bounce shot that went in between the goalie's legs," Oelschlager recalled. "When I got it, my coach said 'that'll do.'"

While Bates was not a team that the Polar Bears had been particularly worried about facing, it was rewarding to see their hard work coming together.

"After the forced fouls, we should have gotten the ball out of our end faster," Malloy said. "But our defense has come a long way since Amherst."

"We need to work on being more patient defensively and not crashing and burning," Oelschlager added.

Overall, the game was successful.

"It was great because we scored right away and kept momentum up," Malloy said.

This Tuesday, the girls faced the University of Southern Maine (USM) on a grass field.

Despite the frustration of the abrupt change in turf, the Polar Bears came through with a 3-0 win.

"It's a completely different game," coach Nicky Pearson said. "Different skills, different tactics. The surface isn't always as true, and the ball bounces and doesn't move as fast."

Herter scored two goals, the second with an assist by Phoebe McCarthy '11. Kassey Matoin '13 scored the third.

Pearson thought the team did a good job of sticking to the altered game plan for the grass.

"I felt like we dominated a lot of the play, but they're obviously used to playing on the surface," she added. "University of Southern Maine had some dangerous forwards and our defenders played well and really closed those players down."

Grass strategy involves more passing and less carrying of the ball down the field, as it is less effective, Malloy said. The games also usually score lower.

"When we play [USM] on our turf we usually beat them by a lot more," she said.

This Saturday, the girls will face Middlebury on the Panther's home turf.

"What we've been working on needs to all come together," Malloy said. "Scoring has been great, obviously we won't be able to score as much, but hopefully our defense won't let any in."

The Polar Bears are both nervous and excited.

"We know what they have, know all their players, there are no unknowns," Oelschlager said. "We just have to go in there and play our game."