Bowdoin Tops Field Hockey For NESCAC Crown
November 6, 2011
Liz Clegg scored the game-winning goal with 1:48 remaining to give Bowdoin College its seventh NESCAC Championship on Sunday at Ryan Field, 2-1, over Middlebury. The top-seeded and top-ranked Polar Bears improve to 17-0 this season and stretch the nation's longest winning streak to 24 consecutive matches. Bowdoin earns the NESCAC's automatic bid to the Division III Tournament while Middlebury (14-3) will likely receive an at-large bid when the field is announced on Sunday evening.
Middlebury owned most of the possession in the early-going, forcing Bowdoin's defense to come up with some big stops. Elena Crosley picked up a defensive save for the Polar Bears and goaltender Kayla Lessard came off her line to make a sliding stop on a shot by NESCAC leading-scorer Lauren Greer midway through the period. Bowdoin replied with some pressure downfield, but came away empty when a shot by Kassey Matoin rang off the post to keep the game scoreless heading into intermission.
Both teams broke into the scoring column on their first shots of the second half. Bowdoin's came nine minutes into the period off a penalty corner as Clegg delivered the insert to Matoin, who placed it for Ella Curren. Curren blasted a low shot inside the left post to give the Polar Bears the lead with 25:25 to go. Middlebury answered seven minutes later when Catherine Fowler intercepted a Bowdoin clearing attempt, walked into the top of the circle and rifled a low shot past Lessard to even the score with 18:25 to go.
The teams traded possession in midfield for the majority of the remainder of regulation until the Polar Bears garnered a pair of late corner attempts. With under two minutes to go, the ball was played into the Middlebury defensive circle. An initial shot attempt bounced off the leg pads of goaltender Becca Shaw and came to the waiting stick of Clegg, who swatted home the loose ball with 1:48 remaining to give Bowdoin its sixth NESCAC crown in the last seven years.
Lessard made seven saves in net for Bowdoin whileShaw stopped six shots for Middlebury. The Panthers held a 15-14 edge in shots, while Bowdoin earned an 11-9 edge in penalty corners.