BRUNSWICK, Maine – Rachel Kennedy tallied a season-opening hat trick as the Bowdoin College field hockey team opened its campaign with a 4-1 victory over Wesleyan Saturday afternoon at Ryan Field.
The fourth-ranked Polar Bears (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC) extended their win streak over the Cardinals (0-1, 0-1 NESCAC) to four-straight years. The Polar Bears have claimed nine out of the last ten meetings between the two teams.
Bowdoin took command of the game just under a minute into play as Kennedy netted her first of the contest off a feed from Adrienne O'Donnell. The sophomore forward doubled Bowdoin's lead with an unassisted shot at 4:18. Moments later, the Cardinals found their footing and pressured Bowdoin goalie Hannah Gartner with a pair of quick shots before Blair Ingraham was able to find the back the net at 6:00. The score remained 2-1 until Kennedy found Katie Riley with under three minutes to play in the half following a disrupted penalty corner.
Kennedy and Riley combined for Bowdoin's fourth and final goal of the game, coming midway through the second half. Riley and Kennedy got behind the Cardinal defense played give-and-go into the offensive circle.
The Cardinals looked to tally another goal in the final two minutes with a flurry of shots on the Polar Bears' net. The third shot in Wesleyan's series found its way behind Gartner, but was deflected away by Meaghan Dwan. Riley fed Kennedy for her third marker of the contest at 53:08.
Gartner finished with seven saves in net for the Polar Bears, while Sara Grundy made 12 stops for the Cardinals. Bowdoin held a 23-10 advantage in shots and 18-6 advantage in penalty corners.
Bowdoin travels to Massachusetts tomorrow for a 2:00 p.m. game at Wellesley. The Cardinals host Wellesley in a 7:00 p.m. matchup on Wednesday.