Field Hockey Season Comes to a Close with Loss in NESCAC Semis
Issue   |   Wed, 11/11/2015 - 00:27

The Amherst College field hockey team fell short to top-seeded Bowdoin this Saturday, in a difficult NESCAC semifinal matchup at the Polar Bears’ home turf in Brunswick, Maine.

After taking down Williams with an exciting 2-1 overtime win in the first round of the NESCAC tournament last Saturday, the Jeffs were excited and prepared to face the No.1 seed in the tournament.

When Amherst faced the Polar Bears in their NESCAC opener, Bowdoin secured a comfortable 4-1 win. Despite a 22-save effort from Amherst goalkeeper Emily Horwitz ’17, but the Polar Bears jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Sara Culhane ’17 scored a goal for the Jeffs to make it 3-1, but it proved a consolation as Bowdoin claimed the win.

Bowdoin entered the game as the unanimous No. 1 ranked team in the country. Led by senior captain and NESCAC top scorer Rachel Kennedy, the Polar Bears charged to an undefeated regular season with the NESCAC’s best defending record.
However, the postseason brings a different level of competition, and Amherst would bring their best againt the top-ranked team in the conference.

In this semifinal matchup, Bowdoin showed their supremacy as Amherst fell 4-0 to the Polar Bears. Jeff goalkeeper Horwitz recorded 11 saves in a fine effort, but a Kennedy hat-trick helped the Polar Bears to comfortable victory.

Bowdoin opened the scoring within the first two minutes of the game, when Kennedy slipped one past goalie Horwitz off of a rebound.

Kennedy struck again just 10 minutes later, after the Polar Bears had been pressuring the Jeffs’ defense for a significant chunk of time. A corner was granted to Bowdoin, and Kennedy found herself once again in the right place at the right time, tipping a rebound into the back of the goal.

The Jeffs hit their stride late in the first half with good offensive force. Culhane had a chance for a goal with nine minutes to play, but Polar Bear goalkeeper Clara Belitz deflected her shot.

Halftime cut the momentum short, and Bowdoin scored again around ten minutes into the second half, with yet another goal by Kennedy.

Just seven minutes later, the Polar Bears took advantage of their sixth corner opportunity of the game with a goal by Emily McColgan, making the score 4-0.

The score remained a four-goal differential until the final whistle. Bowdoin outshot Amherst 22-4, and ultimately showcased a higher level of play. They advanced to compete in the NESCAC finals next weekend.

With the NCAA tournament selections announced, Amherst saw their 2015 season come to a close. The committee selected two NESCAC squads for the tournament Bowdoin and No. 3 Middlebury. Amherst, despite being ranked No. 18 in the country, did not get an at-large bid into the 24-team championship.

The Jeffs finished with a winning regular season record of 12-5 and made it to the semifinals of the NESCAC tournament.
Next season, the Jeffs lose Annika Nygren ’16, who finished second on the team in goals, as well as fellow seniors Annie Turnbull and Katie Paolano. However, with top scorer Culhane and a strong group of underclassmen returning, the Jeffs will reurn a strong squad next season.