Field Hockey Splits Opening Weekend Series, Falls to National Runner-Up Bowdoin and Defeats Mount Holyoke
Issue   |   Wed, 09/14/2016 - 00:06

Following a grueling preseason, the women’s field hockey team had no time to rest with two critical games in the first week of the regular season. The purple and white took on Mount Holyoke under the lights this past Wednesday night and squared up against Bowdoin the following Saturday. Both proved to be well-fought games on both sides, but the purple and white exited the first week of the regular season play with a respectable 1-1 record.

The game against Mount Holyoke finished with a score of 4-3, in Amherst’s favor. The purple and white set the tone early in the game, when Mary Grace Cronin ’18 scored the first goal of the season assisted by Mary Margaret Stoll ’17.

Amherst continued to build off of its momentum with a second goal just a couple minutes later. Increasing the game’s goal count to three in fewer than 10 minutes, Mount Holyoke cut Amherst’s lead in half with a score of their own. However, just before the half Amherst found the back of the net for the third time of the match on a goal from Kendall Codey ’19.

After the whistle blew to signal the beginning of the second half, Mount Holyoke put extra pressure on the purple and white’s defense. The Lyons added two goals, tying up the game at 3-3.

With mere minutes left, and the game hanging in the balance, Stoll claimed the final goal of the match giving Amherst the go-ahead and securing the win versus Mount Holyoke in a closely contested evening game.

Just two days later the purple and white geared up for their next contest against a tough Bowdoin squad who are currently ranked as the No. 2 team in all of Division III field hockey. The Polar Bears entered 2016 as the defending NESCAC champions as well as national runners-up from the 2015 season. Despite Bowdoin’s impressive national ranking, the purple and white approached this game with the same confidence they had displayed in their first game.

The Polar Bears scored two early goals by the 7:15 mark, but those were the only balls netted for the half. The purple and white were extremely unlucky to concede these two goals, as the first came from a deflected corner, while the second resulted from a rebound off the bar.

Defender Caroline Fiore ’18 and goalkeeper Emily Horowitz ’17 displayed a strong defensive effort. Horowitz made eight saves against Bowdoin’s aggressive attack team and Fiore intercepted a pass in a three-on-one situation, clearing Amherst’s defensive zone.

As the first half drew to a close, Horowitz was forced to make a rapid series of saves in order to keep the purple and white in the game. Mary-Grace Cronin ’18 came close to pulling one back, but unfortunately was denied from close range by the Bowdoin goalkeeper.

Improving upon the first half defensively, the purple and white only gave up one goal late in the second half. Unfortunately, however, the Amherst offense was unable to crack a tough Bowdoin defense, and the game finished with a score of 3-0 with the Polar Bears increasing their overall winning record to 2-0. The game finished with the shot and corner count at 16-5 and 7-3, respectively, both in favor of Bowdoin.

The purple and white will look to avenge their first NESCAC loss of the season as they take the field again on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 17 at 11:00 a.m. They take on Keene State and Middlebury, respectively.