Field Hockey Cruises Into NESCAC Semifinals With Three-Goal Win Over Williams

First-year Rachel Kennedy scored twice in Saturday's quarterfinal win
First-year Rachel Kennedy scored twice in Saturday's quarterfinal win

BRUNSWICK, Maine - Rachel Kennedy scored a pair of goals as the Bowdoin College Field Hockey team sprinted to an early lead and never looked back in a 3-0 win over Williams College in NESCAC Quarterfinal action on Saturday afternoon at Ryan Field.

The third-seeded Polar Bears head into next weekend with a record of 13-2  and improve to 22-5 all-time in NESCAC Tournament play. The sixth-seeded Ephs conclude their season at 6-9 after the loss.

The Polar Bears look for a measure of revenge against Tufts in the NESCAC Semifinals next weekend, hosted by Middlebury College. The Jumbos defeated the Polar Bears to clinch the second seed in both teams' regular season finales on October 24. The teams will meet again on Saturday, November 3 at 1:30 p.m. The host Panthers will face off against Amherst in the other semifinal contest at11:00 a.m.

On Saturday, Kennedy wasted little time getting the Polar Bears on the board. She buried the first shot of the game on a pass from teammate Katie Riley to give the hosts a 1-0 lead at 33:22. Brooke Phinney increased the lead at 9:07 on a penalty corner shot with assists from Kassey Matoin and Katie Riley.

Bowdoin earned several consecutive penalty corners in the second half but the Ephs were able to keep the Polar Bears at bay. Williams defender Jaclyn Porfilio slapped a Phinney shot off the line before it made its way to goal to preserve the two-goal deficit. Shortly thereafter, a shot by Phinney and a rebound attempt by Riley hit both posts on the Williams cage.

Kennedy broke through again at 26:25 to put the game on ice. The rookie redirected Cathleen Smith's shot past diving Ephs goalkeeper Ariana Spiliotes for her eleventh goal of the season. Williams made a late offensive push but was unable to solve the Bowdoin defense to get on the board in the final minutes of play.

Spiliotes finished with nine saves and three goals in net for Williams. Kayla Lessard held the Ephs scoreless in the Bowdoin cage, making one save. Bowdoin finished with an advantage in both shots (17-2) and penalty corners (12-4).

The Polar Bears have won six of the league's last seven NESCAC Championships. Bowdoin has posted 18 wins in their last 19 postseason conference games, including Saturday's win against Williams.