AMHERST, Mass. - The Bowdoin College field hockey team will look to reclaim the conference title when it travels to play in the 2013 NESCAC Championship this weekend at Amherst College.
The third-seeded Polar Bears (13-2, 8-2) will battle second-seeded Tufts (14-1, 9-1) in the semifinals on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The winner will battle either Middlebury or Amherst for the conference championship on Sunday at noon. All games from Amherst this weekend will be carried via live video from Gooding Field.
Bowdoin looks to avenge a 1-0 loss at Tufts in the regular season finale October 30. The Polar Bears bounced back in the quarterfinal round, topping sixth-seeded Trinity, 6-1, behind four goals from forward Katie Riley, who tied the NESCAC Championship single-game goals. Riley has amassed 43 points on 14 goals and 15 assists to set the tone for the Polar Bears while sophomore Rachel Kennedy and junior Emily Simonton have added 16 and 11 tallies, respectively. Meanwhile, junior Hannah Gartner (Reisterstown, Md.) has recorded a league-best 0.68 goals against average for the stingiest defense in the NESCAC.
Bowdoin has been dominant in the postseason with a league-best record of 23-6, and has claimed a conference-high seven NESCAC titles, including six over the last eight seasons.
The Polar Bears will face a familiar foe in the Jumbos, who they will be playing for the fifth time in the last two seasons. Tufts has rattled off nine straight wins since losing to Amherst, 3-0, on September 28. The Jumbos earned a spot in the semifinals with a 3-0 victory over seventh-seeded Williams on Saturday. Sophomore defender Alexandra Jamison posted a goal and an assist in the game, while junior keeper Brianna Keenan recorded her eighth shutout of the season. In 15 games, Keenan has allowed 12 goals. Offensively, sophomore Dakota Sikes-Keilp and senior Chelsea Yogerst have carried the bulk of the scoring load with 31 and 23 points, respectively. Sikes-Keilp has pitched in 14 goals, while Yogerst has scored 11. Tufts took home their lone NESCAC title in 2009 and ended Bowdoin's season in the regional finals of the NCAA Tournament last fall, en route to their first-ever national championship.
Click here [for iOS users] - or on the viewer above - to hear senior captain Olivia King's thoughts on the upcoming conference tournament.