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Field hockey falls to No. 6 Polar Bears

Lexie Carter attempted two of Bates' three shots and drilled one at Bowdoin goalie Hannah Gartner, who saved the shutout for No. 6 Bowdoin on Sept. 25, 2013. File photo by Mike Bradley/Bates College.

LEWISTON, Maine -- No. 6 nationally ranked Bowdoin jumped out to a 3-0 lead through eight minutes and extended it to 7-0 through 25 minutes en route to an 8-0 defeat of the Bates field hockey team on Wednesday night at Campus Avenue Field.

The Polar Bears (5-1, 3-1 NESCAC) won their third straight game, while Bates (1-5, 0-4 NESCAC) dropped its fifth in a row. 

Emily Simonton scored 82 seconds in, on the first shot of the game, and finished with a game-high three goals. Rachel Kennedy added two goals and one assist. Katie Riley and Olivia King tallied three and two assists apiece, while Liz Znamierowski collected one goal and one assist.

Hannah Gartner made Bowdoin's only save in a combined shutout with teammates Liz Rill and Clara Belitz, who split the final 13:41 of the contest. Bates senior defender Lexie Carter (Saco, Maine) launched a hard shot on a penalty corner that traveled through traffic before being blocked in the chest by Gartner.

Bates senior starting goalie Becca Otley (Cumberland, Maine) made one save before she was replaced by sophomore Katie Knox (Bronxville, N.Y.) after allowing Bowdoin's third goal of the game at the 8:01 mark. Knox finished out the half, making two more saves against four goals allowed. Sophomore Christina Vega (Needham, Mass.) manned the pipes in the second half, allowing just one goal and making a team-high three saves.

Bowdoin made good on three of its first four shots of the game, with Simonton sandiwching Kennedy's first goal with two scores of her own. The first tally was the result of Simonton's deft stick-handling, as she took King's pass into the circle with her back to the goal, wrapping the ball around and shooting past Otley all in one motion.

Bates called timeout after Bowdoin seized the early 3-0 lead, but the Polar Bears scored again less than a minute later on the game's first penalty corner, with King and Riley setting up Colleen Finnerty's rocket of a goal.With 23:45 still left in the half, Riley found a seam and drove along the right baseline before passing to an open Kennedy, waiting by the far post, and Kennedy put Bowdoin in a 5-0 lead with her seventh goal of the season.

Bowdoin made it 6-0 on another penalty corner with 16:28 left, as Simonton stopped Kennedy's insertion pass and flicked a shot off a Bates defender's stick, high into the air before dropping into the back of the cage.

Bowdoin took a 7-0 lead with 9:54 to go, as Liz Znamierowski drove from the defensive end all the way to Bates' goal line before dishing to Kimmie Ganong for the finish. 

The Polar Bears finished the half with only an 11-3 edge in shots attempted, despite the 7-0 deficit on the scoreboard. But in the second half, Bowdoin kept Bates out of its circle while building a 14-0 advantage in shots. Some strong goalie play by Vega held the potent Polar Bears to one goal in the period, however.

Bates hosts Trinity on Saturday at noon, part of Parents & Family Weekend.