Field hockey falls to No. 1

Although field hockey (3-2, 1-1 in the NESCAC) bested Keene State and Clark last Tuesday and Thursday, respectively, the women dropped their most important game of the week to Bowdoin (6-0, 3-0) on Saturday.

The Ephs knew that facing the nationally top-ranked and defending NCAA champion Polar Bears would be tough. “We [had] to play a focused and confident seventy minutes,” said co-captain Taylor Wilson-Hill ’09.

Unfortunately, the game opened with Bowdoin’s Lindsay McNamara, assisted by Julia King, scoring in the fourth minute. However, the Ephs’ solid defense was able to prevent another Polar Bear goal during the first half, despite Bowdoin’s nine shots on goal and nine penalty corners.

The Ephs struggled in the second half as the Polar Bears scored two more times, with Madeleine McQueeney scoring an unassisted goal during the seventh minute, and King scoring during the 16th minute. Williams was unable to answer, and the score remained 3-0 until the end.

Bowdoin managed eight shots on goal in the second half compared to the women’s three, giving the Polar Bears the offensive edge overall, outshooting the Ephs 17-4 for the game.

Earlier in the week, the team fared much better with two solid victories. Last Thursday’s game against Clark University, in which Williams shut out Clark 6-0, was a strong indicator of the progress that the team has made this season. Twelve minutes in, Whitney Thayer ’10, assisted by Jess Overlander ’09, put the Ephs on the scoreboard. Before the Cougars rallied, Overlander, assisted by Julia Nawrocki ’09 and Amy Siedlacki ’10, scored forty seconds later. Elspeth Macmillan ’09, and co-captain Meighan McGowan ’09 scored the other two goals of the first half. Alice Bearn ’11 and Siedlacki both collected assists, respectively, on those plays.

Lucy Rollins ’12, assisted by Lindsay Davies ’11 opened the scoring about five minutes into the second half. Katie Ellis ’12 scored the final goal about 10 minutes later. Williams showed its depth, as six different players scored in a variety of ways, including off a corner and from a rebound off the pads. The team made an impressive 28 shots on goal and did not allow Clark a single shot on goal.

“We really played as a team and communicated effectively,” McGowan said. “[We] played well all over the field.”

The comfortable margin allowed many players to rotate in. “It’s really exciting when you can get the entire bench in the game,” Wilson-Hill said. “We have come a long way since our first game [against Skidmore], and have really spiked up our level of play”

Williams’ 2-0 finish on Tuesday against Keene State also showed solid team cohesion. Macmillan opened up the game with an unassisted goal during the seventh minute of play. Anne de Saint Phalle ’10 notched the other goal during the twenty-eighth minute. In the first half the Ephs put 10 shots on goal and had three penalty corners, while the Owls notched only four shots on goal and four penalty corners. From there, the women maintained control of the field and turned the game into a shutout by moving the ball well and playing as a unit.

“Tuesday’s game really indicated that we were coming together as a team and learning to gel on the field,” Head Coach Alix Rorke said. “Our first game [against Skidmore] was a wake-up call that victories were not going to come easily.”

The Ephs’ will face the Camels at Conn. College on Saturday.