Smith's Late Goal Lifts Bowdoin to Season-Opening Win at Wesleyan

Smith's Late Goal Lifts Bowdoin to Season-Opening Win at Wesleyan

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. - Bowdoin junior Cathleen Smith scored with just under two minutes remaining to give the top-ranked and defending national champion Polar Bear field hockey team a 1-0 win over Wesleyan on Saturday. With the victory in its season-opener, Bowdoin won its eighth straight game dating back to 2010 and now stands 27-9 all time against Wesleyan.
    
The Polar Bears dominated play for much of the game, holding a 10-3 advantage in shots through the first 68 minutes, but it took Smith's tip-in to end the scoreless battle. Senior Katie Herter sent an elevated pass from outside the circle to Smith, who was standing by the right post. Smith deflected the ball over the left shoulder of Wesleyan junior goalkeeper Tori Redding with 1:53 remaining in the contest.
    
Wesleyan nearly netted the equalizer at the end of regulation, as the Cardinals were awarded a penalty corner with two seconds remaining in the game, but senior Morgan McCauley sent the ball just to the left of the cage as time expired.
    
The teams spent virtually the entire 70 minutes in the Bowdoin end, but a strong Wesleyan defense and six stops by Redding kept the Polar Bears at bay. Bowdoin took 12 corners in the contest to Wesleyan's two, but only four Polar Bear corners resulted in shots.
    
The game marked the fourth consecutive one-goal battle between the two teams, with Bowdoin holding a 3-1 advantage in those four contests. Bowdoin took a 2-1 victory in Brunswick, Maine, last season en route to a 20-1 campaign, and the Cardinals earned a 3-2 victory on penalty strokes in Middletown in 2009.
    
Both teams hit the field again on Wednesday in non-conference tilts as Bowdoin travels to Wellesley College while Wesleyan hosts Mount Holyoke College.