Top-ranked women’s field hockey (3-0 NESCAC, 3-0 overall) continued its undefeated start to the regular season this week, beating Amherst 2-1 on Saturday and shutting out Bates 2-0 on Wednesday evening. Both games were played at home.

Rachel Kennedy ’16 was named NESCAC Field Hockey Player of the Week after notching both of the team’s goals against Amherst. She continued in fine form on Wednesday evening, again scoring both of the Polar Bears’ goals. Kennedy has now scored five out  of her team’s seven total goals scored this season.

Bowdoin outshot Amherst during the first half on Saturday, but was unable to find the breakthrough goal until shortly before halftime, when Kennedy sped past two defenders in transition and slotted the ball into the left corner of the goal. 

Just 36 seconds into the second half, Kennedy struck again. Her long-range shot was deflected to the right side, where Adrienne O’Donnell ’15 recovered the rebound and directed it back to Kennedy, who then bounced the ball into the net.

Amherst caused some anxiety for the Polar Bears in the game’s dying minutes, scoring a penalty shot with fewer than five minutes left in regulation. The Lady Jeffs came close to scoring the tying goal, but goalie Hannah Gartner ’15 made two saves to preserve Bowdoin’s lead.

Head Coach Nicky Pearson said the team was happy with the result, but disappointed to have surrendered a late goal.

“They got one back, and we were disappointed that we had that breakdown,” said Pearson. “That made the end of the game a little too exciting, really.” 

Bowdoin’s performance against Bates on Wednesday night was more dominant, with Bates managing only one shot and the Polar Bears racking up 31 shots, 13 of them on goal. Pearson gave credit to Bates’ circle defense, which prevented the Polar Bears’ attack from capitalizing on its abundance of opportunities.

“Looking back on the game, we probably should have scored more,” she said. “There were times when we played into their strengths by going down the middle. In hindsight, we should have gone wider and tried to get in behind them.” 

Early in the first half, Colleen Finnerty ’16 used some nifty stick work to wiggle past a defender before finding Kennedy with a pass. From the left side of the circle, Kennedy rolled the ball across the face of goal and into the net.

The second goal came when a free hit found O’Donnell on the end line. O’Donnell passed to Kennedy, who spun away from a defender and fired a no-look reverse shot past Bates' goalie.

The Polar Bears are travelling to Vermont this weekend to take on No. 4 Middlebury, whom they have been defeated by in back-to-back NESCAC championship games—once in overtime and once on penalty strokes.

“We’re excited,” said Pearson. “They’re an incredibly talented team—they are year in and year out. They’re going to challenge us all over the field, in every aspect of our game, so we’re going to have to rise to the occasion.”