Field Hockey comes up short
Sixteen seconds remained on the clock, when-BANG!-Bowdoin forward Marissa O'Neil '05 emphatically scored off the Williams goalkeeper. However, it was not enough to defeat the NESCAC champion Williams Ephs, who won 2-1 at Ryan Field last Sunday.
Second-seeded Williams entered the finals after narrowly beating Middlebury 2-1 in overtime on Saturday. By holding off the perseverant Polar Bears, the Ephs defended their NESCAC championship title and gained automatic entry into the NCAA Division III Championship.
However, Williams did not enjoy an easy victory.
"Offensively, I felt that we had many more chances [to] score than Williams had," said senior co-captain Jackie Templeton. "We dominated the play for most of the game. Unfortunately, what ultimately matters is who puts the ball in the goal, [and] Williams did just that."
In 70 minutes of fervent field hockey, the Bears took 12 shots on goal, 11 of which Williams' goalkeeper Wendy Stone survived.
Bowdoin goalie, stalwart Gillian McDonald '04, did not face Stone's constant opposition, encountering only eight shots on goal and repelling six of them. Williams pirated its two goals within five minutes of each other in the last ten minutes of the first half.
"Losing to Williams was really disappointing and frustrating," said senior co-captain Sarah Laverty. "We definitely have the ability to beat them, but [we] just were not able to capitalize when it counted yesterday."
However, the Bears more than capitalized in the NESCAC semifinals, mercilessly trouncing Wesleyan 4-0. "Wesleyan was a great game," said Laverty. "We all played really hard and it showed."
Ten minutes into the first half, O'Neil slammed the ball past Wesleyan goalkeeper Lindsay Wasserman, almost instantly following up her goal with an assist to sophomore forward Colleen McDonald.
Senior forward Leah McClure gained control of the ball less than four minutes after McDonald's goal, bringing the score to 3-0. McClure then opened up the second half by assisting Templeton to the fourth and final goal of the game.
"I think I will remember our game against Wesleyan as our last," said Templeton. "Losing on our turf is just not something we do, especially with the amazing team we had this season."
Gillian McDonald captured her tenth shutout of the season against Wesleyan, curbing all ten of the Cardinals' shots on goal. This season, McDonald single-handedly made 94 saves in 16 games, ending up with a phenomenal 87 percent save percentage.
Bowdoin collectively scored 42 goals this season, led by McClure's 12, and followed by O'Neil's 11. Colleen McDonald and Templeton tied with each with four. First-year forward Christi Gannon scored twice, while forward Allyson Craib '06 and Britney Carr '04 each scored once, rounding out the scoring roster.
The Bears closed the season with a 12-4 overall record, and a 7-2 NESCAC record, which ties with Williams for the best team in the NESCAC this season.
"Looking back, it was a great season," said Laverty. "This year's team is an amazing group of girls that I will miss playing with."
Bowdoin will graduate three valuable seniors this year in Laverty, Templeton, and McClure. McClure was recognized by The National Field Hockey Coaches' Association as one of the best field hockey players in the country with an invitation to play in the Division III North/South Senior All-Star Game on November 23 at Springfield College.