BRUNSWICK, Maine – Bates College field hockey successfully defended 15 penalty corners, saved 11 shots, and blocked another 13 but fell to No. 1 Bowdoin College, 2-0, on Wednesday night at Ryan Field.
The Bobcats (0-3, 0-3 NESCAC) did not allow the defending national champion and top-ranked Polar Bears (3-0, 3-0 NESCAC) to score in the second half, but goals from Bowdoin in the 6th and 27th minutes carried the hosts to the victory.
Junior Rachel Kennedy scored both goals for the Polar Bears. In the 6th minute, senior Colleen Finnerty kept the ball in the attacking zone after an attempted clear and sent a shot towards goal which the Bobcats blocked. Kennedy then gained possession of the ball right in front of the goal and placed it into the back of the cage.
Kennedy pushed Bowdoin's lead to 2-0 just over 21 minutes later as she collected a pass from senior Adrienne O'Donnell along the end line to the right of the cage. She took one touch, turned, and slotted a shot into the cage.
Bates junior goalie Cristina Vega (Needham, Mass.) made a career-high 11 saves in the loss while a Bobcat defensive unit including senior Jillian Conway (Andover, Mass.), junior Hannah Beinecke (Manchester, Mass.), sophomore Claire Markonic (Millerton, N.Y.), and first-years Delaney Nalen (Englewood, Colo.) and Samantha Reiss (New Haven, Vt.) helped the visitors turn away 29 of Bowdoin's 31 shots
Bowdoin junior goalie Hannah Gartner registered one save in the loss off a shot from junior Shannon Beaton (West Newbury, Mass.) in the 13th minute.
The Bobcats made multiple defensive stands on the evening. Between the 19th and 22nd minutes the team stymied three Polar Bear shot attempts and three corners. In the second half's first five minutes Bates denied another four shots plus a corner. Vega made three consecutive saves shortly thereafter.
From the 55th to the 58th minutes, the Bobcats countered three corners as well as two shots, and the team defended four shots and one more corner in the game's final five minutes.
For the game, Bowdoin held advantages in shots (31-1), shots on goal (13-1), and penalty corners (15-0).
Next, Bates hosts Wesleyan University on Saturday at 11 a.m. while Bowdoin plays at Middlebury College on Saturday at noon.