MONTCLAIR, N.J. - Katie Riley recorded a hat trick to lead the Bowdoin College field hockey team to a 5-2 win over New Paltz State in the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament Saturday at Montclair State.
The fifth-ranked Polar Bears (15-3) advance to the third round of the tournament for the fourth-consecutive season where they will top-ranked Montclair at 1:00 p.m. Sunday for a trip for the Division III Final Four the following weekend in Virginia Beach. Montclair defeated Mount Holyoke 1-0 in double overtime in the other first round match Saturday. Bowdoin is 17-2 in their last 19 NCAA Tournament matches dating back to 2007.
With less than five minutes off the clock, Bowdoin netted its first goal of the game to take the lead. Rachel Kennedy fed a long pass from outside the circle to Emily Simonton who waited just beyond the stroke line. Simonton collected the ball and wristed it inside the left post to put Bowdoin on top 1-0. The New Paltz offense hit its stride ten minutes in with three consecutive corners, which the Polar Bears countered with three straight stops to preserve the lead. Katie Riley added an unassisted shot, doubling Bowdoin's lead, with less than eight minutes to go in the half. Three Bowdoin forwards made their way behind the New Paltz defense earning a clean look at Hawks' keeper Antonija Pjetri. Riley took a shot from low on the right to double the lead.
The Hawks trimmed Bowdoin's lead to one ten minutes into the second half. The swing came after the New Paltz defense successfully kept the Polar Bears out on a corner, and quickly transitioned the ball down the field into Bowdoin's defensive zone, earning a corner. The Hawks' inserted to the top of the circle, before dishing the ball left to Lauren Link. Link fired off a shot to the right post where Alicia Aragosa collected the ball and slipped it past Bowdoin's Hannah Gartner. The Polar Bears answered right back with their third goal of the game just a minute later. Capitalizing on a corner of their own, Mettler Growney crossed a pass to Olivia King who then connected with Colleen Finnerty for a hard drive from the top. Finnerty's shot was controlled by Riley on the right post and buried to extend Bowdoin's lead to 3-1. The Polar Bears tacked on their fourth of the game just three minutes later as Riley collected a cleared ball outside the circle and carried down the right side towards the end line. A quick pass back across the circle connected with Kennedy who found the left corner of the Hawke's cage, to take extend Bowdoin's lead.
New Paltz looked to cut the Polar Bears lead in half with a scoring opportunity in the 54th minute. The Hawks sent the ball across Bowdoin's net to the right post where Link was waiting to tip it in, however Gartner made a split save to keep the Hawks at bay. New Paltz continued its offensive pressure with three more shots and two corners before Bowdoin could clear the ball. As the Polar Bears regained control, Riley topped off her afternoon with an unassisted goal at 11:11. Carrying down the right side, she rifled off a long shot to the opposite post. The Hawks rounded out the game's scoring with a last minute goal, coming off a corner. After the insert, the ball was passed back to the left post and tipped in to end the game 5-2.
The Polar Bears outshot the Hawks 19-9 with a 11-6 edge in corners. Gartner made two saves in net for Bowdoin, while Pjetri stopped six for New Paltz.