BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Bowdoin College field hockey team will look to win its fourth NCAA Championship this weekend as the Polar Bears compete at the Division III Final Four in Virginia Beach.
The Polar Bears (16-3) will play Christopher Newport (21-1) Friday at 11:00 a.m. in the semifinals hosted at the USA Field Hockey National Training Center in Virginia Beach, Va. The other semifinal will feature Salisbury (16-3) and Skidmore (19-3) at 2:00 p.m.
The winners will advance to Sunday's title match at 10:30 a.m. hosted by the L.R. Hill Sports Complex in Norfolk, Va. All of the games will be carried live via video webcast at the link above.
Bowdoin punched its ticket to the Final Four for the seventh time in the last nine years after defeating top-ranked Montclair State in the quarterfinals last Sunday, 1-0. The Polar Bears, who have claimed three NCAA crowns in the last six years (2007, '08, '10) and are 18-2 in their last 20 NCAA Tournament matches. Bowdoin's four seniors (Katie Riley, Olivia King, Molly Paduda and Lauren Schroeder) played on the 2010 NCAA Championship team as first-years.
The Polar Bears have been paced by the 1-2 combo of Katie Riley and Rachel Kennedy this fall. The duo is the second-highest scoring pair of teammates in the NCAA this season, racking up 37 combined goals on the year. Bowdoin is averaging a potent 4.46 goals/game this year and owns a +3.36 scoring margin, the highest in Division III.
Bowdoin's opponent on Friday will be Final Four newcomer Christopher Newport, who has qualified for the NCAA Tournament each year since 2006, but will be making their first semifinal appearance. The Captains advanced to this weekend after hosting a regional last weekend and defeating Catholic in the quarterfinals on Sunday.
Christopher Newport will look to counter Bowdoin's prolific offense with one of the nation's top defenses. To date, Christopher Newport's 11 shutouts this season are a program high. Freshman goalkeeper Bailey Lien has an NCAA-record 20 victories. The Captains only loss this season came to fellow semifinalist Salisbury, 1-0, in the Capital Athletic Conference tournament championship game.
For updates live from Virginia, follow Bowdoin Athletics on twitter @goubears