While many Bowdoin students flew south for spring break, the women’s hockey team saw its season come to a close with a 4-1 loss to Williams in the NESCAC championship. The Bears end their season with a 13-11-3 (6-7-3 NESCAC) record.
A chaotic NESCAC quarterfinals left the No. 4 Polar Bears as the second highest-seeded team remaining in the tournament. While Bowdoin defeated Wesleyan at home, both Middlebury and Amherst, ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, were knocked out of competition, leaving third-seeded Williams as the highest ranking team. The matchup saw former Bowdoin teammates—Williams Head Coach Meghan Gillis ’07 and current Bowdoin Head Coach Marissa O’Neil ’05—face each other as rivals.
Williams set the tone of the game early on Sunday after Williams’ Hanna Beattie scored in the first thirty seconds of the game. Excellent goaltending from Williams junior Chloe Billadeau held Bowdoin to only one goal—scored in the second by Ariana Bourque ’16 with the assist coming from juniors Colleen Finnerty and Schuyler Nardelli.
Early in the second after Williams scored its third goal of the afternoon, Beth Findley ’16 replaced first year Lan Crofton in net for Bowdoin.. Unfortunately, the change couldn’t block a fourth Williams goal from Cristina Bravi.
Though Bowdoin led the Ephs 29-26 in shots, they couldn’t find the back of the net and after a scoreless third period, lost 4-1, giving Williams its first NESCAC championship in program history.
On Saturday, Bowdoin stomped out longtime rival Colby in a 4-2 semifinal victory after losing to the Mules during their first two games of the season. Nardelli scored the first of Bowdoin’s goals early in the first period on a power play.
Colby answered while Bowdoin captains Chelsea MacNeil ’15 and Emily Tang ‘14 sat in the penalty box. With a 5-on-3 advantage, Colby’s Megan Fortier banked a shot off Crofton and into the net with 16 seconds to go in the first.
Colby scored one more power play goal in the second, giving them a 2-1 lead until MacNeil took the rebound of Tang’s shot from the crease and scored to tie the game. Bowdoin pulled ahead nine minutes in the third period when MacNeil launched a shot at goalie Brianne Wheeler that sailed into the net. MacNeil’s second goal of the game was the only goal that did not come as a result of a power play advantage from either team.
Five minutes later, Bourque scored her eighth goal of the season off an assist from Rachel Kennedy ’16, giving Bowdoin a two-goal lead. Despite pulling Wheeler in the last minute of the game, the Mules could not tie it up.
Crofton made 18 saves for the Bears on Saturday.