Field hockey sustains first loss

Field hockey (2-1, 1-1 in the NESCAC) suffered a disheartening loss against Bowdoin on Saturday by a final score of 5-2. Both teams are nationally ranked squads; the Ephwomen were ranked 12th and Bowdoin was ranked 15th in the latest national poll.

Leading the Ephwomen in scoring were Tara Boyd ’05 and Cathleen Clark ’07 with a goal apiece. Tori Scott ’04 logged assists on both scoring plays.

The highly anticipated game started off in Bowdoin’s favor. The Polar Bears quickly gained possession of the ball and scored their first goal less than five minutes into the first half. Williams soon gathered momentum though, and tied it up seven minutes later as Boyd scored the Ephs’ first goal with an assist by Scott. However, Bowdoin’s Christi Gannon scored her second goal of the game soon after, bringing the score to 2-1.

The Ephs gave it their all during the remainder of the first half, and the competition between the two teams was intense and exciting, though Bowdoin seemed to be slightly more on its game than Williams. The Polar Bears’ combination of fast breakaways and successful corner shots helped them tremendously during the first half.

Soon after the Polar Bears’ second goal, Bowdoin’s Colleen McDonald put in another one for her team, bringing the score to 3-1, Bowdoin. Ashley Sewell ’07 said she thought her team could have played a better first half. “We weren’t playing as well as we normally do. We kind of fell apart,” she said. Two of Bowdoin’s goals during the first half were scored because of fast breakaways, while one was scored on a corner shot.

Although they were behind by two goals after the first half, the Ephs played hard during the second half of the game. It just wasn’t enough to get back in control. Williams had trouble stepping up to the ball on defense, allowing Bowdoin’s Marissa O’Neil to put in another goal for the Polar Bears. Bowdoin’s Taryn King put in the team’s last goal of the game with 11 minutes left on the clock.

“We had a lot of trouble keeping the Bowdoin offense from maintaining possession during the second half,” Sewell said. “They had some really nice shots on their corners and a few fast breakaways, which hurt us the most.”

Although their performance in Saturday’s game might not have reflected their potential, the Ephs appeared to be playing with full intensity for the duration of the final minutes.

With five minutes left on the clock, Clark put in a late goal for Williams. Goalie Jen Steinberg ’05 had a few nice split saves and Emily Grannon ’06 fought hard to dive for the ball on a Bowdoin breakaway.

Still, there wasn’t enough time left for Williams to take control of the game. The final score was 5-2, Bowdoin.

Even though the Ephs might not have been successful on Saturday, the competition between Williams and Bowdoin might not yet be over. Last year, the Polar Bears were victorious over the Ephs in the regular season, but Williams came back to conquer them at the NESCAC finals to win the conference championship. For now, Williams will focus on its next challenge against Keene State. The game will take place Friday night at 7 p.m. in Keene, N. H.