MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The Middlebury field hockey team ended Bowdoin’s season in a 5-2 NESCAC Semifinal on Saturday afternoon.
The top-seeded Panthers (15-2) advanced to their seventh consecutive conference final. The Polar Bears end the year ranked 16th,, nationally, with a 10-7 record.
The Panthers opened the scoring with an early goal just 1:24 into the game. Annie Leonard tipped a pass from Kelly Coyle to go ahead 1-0.
Middlebury doubled its lead with 26:50 on the clock as Molly Freeman dribbled the ball into the circle and fed Grace Jennings on the far post.
Bowdoin responded eight minutes later on a penalty corner. Abby Bashaw inserted the ball to Elizabeth Bennewitz who drove a shot from the top to cut the lead in half.
Erin Nicholas tucked a pass to Jennings with under five minutes to play in the half, going up 3-1.
The Polar Bears closed the gap seven minutes into the second frame. Juliana Fiore carried the ball up the right side and sent a long cross to the front of the Panther net. Emma Stevens redirected the pass into the cage, closing the gap to 3-2.
Molly Freeman added a pair of tallies in the 64th and 68th minutes to put the game away.
By the Numbers
Middlebury held a 13-8 edge in shots, while Bowdoin had an 8-7 penalty corner advantage.
Abby Furdak made a pair of stops for the Panthers.
Maddie Ferrucci made four stops for the Polar Bears.