Field Hockey Heads to NESCAC Final with 4-2 Win over Defending National Champion Tufts

Adrienne O'Donnell had a goal and an assist against Tufts (photo courtesy of Joe Paduda)
Adrienne O'Donnell had a goal and an assist against Tufts (photo courtesy of Joe Paduda)

AMHERST, Mass. – The third-seeded Bowdoin field hockey team avenged a regular season loss to second-seeded Tufts in the NESCAC Semifinal on Saturday afternoon with three second half goals in a 14:18 span, to go on and defeat the Jumbos 4-2.

Advancing to its fourth-straight conference final, the Polar Bears (14-2, 8-2 NESCAC) will square off with rival Middlebury on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 12 p.m., in a rematch of the last two league championship games. Falling to 14-2 (9-1 NESCAC) on the year, last year's National Champion Jumbos will await to hear about a possible at-large bid to the upcoming NCAA Tournament when the 24-team field is officially announced tomorrow at 10 p.m.

Generating the game's first good scoring opportunity, Bowdoin's Emily Simonton received the ball on the left side before forcing Tufts goalkeeper Brianna Keenan to make a pad save. Moments later, Simonton put another shot on target, but Keenan used her blocker to punch the high attempt over the crossbar. Earning a penalty corner in the 23rd minute, Katie Riley played the insert to the top of the circle. Settling a misplayed ball, Colleen Finnerty ripped a long shot into the lower left corner at 22:21 to put the Polar Bears on the board. Creating its first solid scoring chance at the end of the first half, Tufts got the ball to Rachel Terveer on the left post, but Bowdoin's Hannah Gartner kicked the ball away before the sophomore could put a try on net.

Seizing the momentum at the start of the second, Tufts earned a pair of penalty corners. Stephanie Wan got a shot off at 47:39, prompting a Gartner save. Collecting the long rebound, Alexandra Jamison '16 slotted a low shot into the right corner of the cage to tie the game. Bowdoin answered just four minutes later. Catching up to a through-ball on the left side, Adrienne O'Donnell poked the ball around a charging Keenan. Beating a Jumbo defender to the ball at the end line, she tucked a shot inside the near post to put the Polar Bears back on top.

Capitalizing on a third-consecutive penalty corner, Tufts once again tied it in the 57th minute. Receiving the insert on the left side, Dakota Sikes-Keilp fed a pass to Emily Cannon who fired a hard shot past Gartner at 56:22. Taking advantage of a penalty corner of its own in the 64th minute, Bowdoin wasted little time retaking the lead. Getting the insert on the left side, O'Donnell played a pass across to Riley on the back post who tipped it across the goal line to make it 3-2. Keeping the pressure on, the Polar Bears added an insurance marker just 2:08 later as Kimmie Ganong put away a rebound off an O'Donnell shot.

Bowdoin finished with a slim 10-9 shot advantage and a 9-5 edge in corners. Hartner and Keenan each finished with five saves, while O'Donnell led the Polar Bear attack with a goal and an assist.