Field Hockey Falls In NCAA Regional Final

November 16, 2008

Middlebury saw its season come to an end with a 3-1 loss to Bowdoin in an NCAA Regional Final contest in Maine. The Panthers end their season with a solid 14-4 record, while defending NCAA Champion Bowdoin advances to the final four.

Lindsay McNamara gave Bowdoin the lead 15 minutes into Sunday's game, after an entry pass into the circle by Kate Gormley was intercepted by a Middlebury defender. McNamara took control of the loose ball and tucked the ball inside the right post to give the hosts a one-goal lead at 19:37.

Middlebury answered just moments later following a pair of penalty corner opportunities. Dana Heritage ripped a shot from the left side that Chase Delano redirected into the cage to deadlock the score with 16:33 remaining in the half. The Panthers had an outstanding chance to take the lead seconds later, when Lindsay McBride received a pass on the far post, but Bowdoin's Emileigh Mercer made a fantastic diving stop to keep the game deadlocked.

The flurry of action continued on the other side of the field as Bowdoin replied with a pair of penalty corner chances. Caitlin Pentifallo made two great saves, including a blocker stop on a shot by Julia King that seemed destined for the top-right corner of the net.

Following another penalty corner, Bowdoin regained the lead as a King shot rebounded off of Pentifallo's leg pads to the waiting stick of Madeleine McQueeney, who banged home the loose ball to push the Polar Bears ahead with 6:32 left before the break. Bowdoin carried their lead into halftime, holding a 16-5 edge in shots and 11-4 lead in corners.

Neither team could garner a quality scoring chance until midway through the second period when a penalty corner for Bowdoin resulted in a scramble in front of the goal. Madeleine McQueeney slapped home the loose ball to give the Polar Bears a 3-1 lead with 15:22 to go.

Pentifallo made eight saves in all for the Panthers, while Mercer made five stops for the Polar Bears. It is the ninth straight victory for Bowdoin over Middlebury, dating back to 2005. The Polar Bears defeated the Panthers in the 2007 NCAA Championship game, 4-3.