Field Hockey Falls In NESCAC Title Game
November 5, 2006
The Middlebury field hockey team fell at Bowdoin 1-0 in the NESCAC Championship game on Sunday afternoon. The Polar Bears (15-1) earn their third NESCAC Championship overall and clinch the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Middlebury (14-3), who ranked fourth in the latest national poll, will likely receive an at-large bid to the Tournament when pairings are announced on Sunday evening.
Bowdoin controlled the pace in the early going, taking the first eight shots of the game. Middlebury netminder Meghan McGillen singlehandedly kept her team in the contest, brushing aside six saves in the first 10 minutes to keep the Polar Bears off the scoreboard. Bowdoin continued to pressure the goal throughout the period, racking up 17 total shots and 11 corners before intermission. But McGillen made 13 saves overall in the stanza as the game headed into the second half tied at zero.
Bowdoin continued to control the tempo early in the second period, and finally broke through with 21:54 remaining, as a hard shot from outside the circle by Val Young was deflected in front by Lindsay McNamara to the left of McGillen and into the cage for a 1-0 Polar Bear lead.
Middlebury earned their first corner of the game with nine minutes to go, but Bowdoin's Val Young exploded off the line to disrupt the play and keep the Panthers off the board. The Panthers could only muster a single shot in the second period and two total for the game as the Polar Bear defense stifled all chances.
Kate Leonard made one save in the victory, earning her seventh shutout of the season. Bowdoin has not allowed a goal in their last six games, holding a scoreless minute streak of 429:20. The Polar Bears have also won 20 consecutive home games dating back to October of 2004. McGillen finished the game with 17 saves for the Panthers.