MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The Bowdoin field hockey team scored twice in the final three minutes to come from behind and defeat Middlebury 2-1 on Saturday afternoon in a rematch of last year's NESCAC championship.
The top-ranked Polar Bears improve to 4-0 (4-0 NESCAC) after coming out on top in a battle of top-ten teams. Bowdoin dealt fourth-ranked Middlebury its first loss of the season (4-1, 2-1 NESCAC).
The hosts got on the scoreboard just 3:07 into action. Bridget Instrum gathered a loose ball on the left just inside the 25-yard line. She worked her way toward the middle of the field, sending a hard, low pass to the stick of Catherine Fowler. Following a quick touch, Fowler rocketed a shot into the bottom right corner of the Polar Bears goal for the early 1-0 lead. Bowdoin's best chance to even the score in the opening half came in the 15th minute, as Adrienne O'Donnell found her way behind the Middlebury defense in transition and dribbled the ball down the middle of the field. Panther goalie Emily Knapp came charging out of the goal to cut down the angle and denied O'Donnell's shot from eight yards out.
The game remained 1-0 in favor of Middlebury throughout the majority of the game. In the 58th minute, Rachel Kennedy nearly knotted the score as she took a shot from eight yards out on the right side, but Knapp made a diving save to her left. Following a Middlebury foul at 67:38 which resulted in a penalty stroke, Kennedy stepped up and ripped her shot into the right side of the cage, tying the score at 1-1.
Just under 90 seconds later, Bowdoin kept the pressure up in the offensive zone. Working the ball around the circle, Colleen Finnerty sent a ball to the stick of Kim Kahnweiler just inside the circle. Kahnweiler roped a shot that hit a Middlebury defender, deflecting into the back of the cage for the game-winner. The Panthers drew a penalty corner as time expired, but a shot by Fowler was off the mark.
Bowdoin finished with an 8-6 shot advantage for the contest, while both teams managed six penalty corners. Knapp recorded a pair of saves, while Bowdoin's Hannah Gartner made three stops in the win.
Bowdoin hosts Maine-Farmington on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.