Field Hockey Falls In NESCAC Title Game

November 4, 2007

Middlebury saw its hopes of a NESCAC Championship fall short as they fell at Bowdoin 3-1 on Sunday in the title game. The Polar Bears claim their third-straight NESCAC Championship and fourth overall, improving to 16-0 on the season. With the victory, Bowdoin receives the NESCAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament which begins next week. Ninth-ranked Middlebury (13-4) will hope for an at-large bid. Selections will be released late Sunday night.

In a rematch of the 2006 match, it was Middlebury who earned the best early chance of the 2007 final. Just two minutes into the contest, Panther captain Reid Berrien collected a loose ball behind the Bowdoin defense and broke in alone on keeper Emileigh Mercer. Mercer made a pad save to keep the game scoreless.

The Polar Bears would break the deadlock in the eighth minute, as Kate Gormley played a cross into the circle from the left wing. Lindsay McNamara redirected the ball to the waiting stick of Hillary Hoffman on the far post, who slammed it home for a 1-0 Bowdoin lead.

The Polar Bears made a bid to improve their lead shortly after halftime, as a McNamara shot slipped between the legs of Middlebury goaltender Caitlin Pentifallo. But Katherine Entwisle made a diving defensive save, swiping the ball off the goal line to keep it a one-goal deficit.

Inspired by the defensive effort, Middlebury made their best offensive push of the day in the 43rd minute with a flurry of shots. Marnie Rowe ripped off a pair of quick shots on the doorstep, both of which were kicked away by Mercer.

Bowdoin replied with a push in the other direction, and found the back of the cage in the 56th minute courtesy of McNamara. Julia King took a strike from the top of the circle that was tipped by Bowdoin's leading scorer in front, sailing inside the right post to give Bowdoin a 2-0 advantage. Middlebury answered less than four minutes later, as Taryn Petrelli took control of the ball at the top of the circle, moved to her left and backhanded a chance that skipped between the leg pads of Mercer with 21 minutes remaining.

Bowdoin replied with a quick goal just four minutes later, as a long ball by King was again tipped in front by McNamara, who tucked it inside the left post for a much-needed insurance tally. In addition, with two assists on the day, King raised her single-season total to 19, also a Bowdoin school mark.

Mercer finished with six saves in the game, while Pentifallo ended with nine. Bowdoin held a 20-7 advantage in shots and 12-4 edge in penalty corners.