Field Hockey Extends Winning Streak with Pair of Home Wins

Catherine+Fowler+%E2%80%9915+and+Lauren+Greer+%E2%80%9913+celebrate+the+team%E2%80%99s+third+goal+of+the+game%2C+scored+by+Greer+off+an+assist+from+Fowler.+%28Courtesy%2FJohn+Ewing%29
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Field Hockey Extends Winning Streak with Pair of Home Wins

Catherine Fowler ’15 and Lauren Greer ’13 celebrate the team’s third goal of the game, scored by Greer off an assist from Fowler. (Courtesy/John Ewing)

Catherine Fowler ’15 and Lauren Greer ’13 celebrate the team’s third goal of the game, scored by Greer off an assist from Fowler. (Courtesy/John Ewing)

Catherine Fowler ’15 and Lauren Greer ’13 celebrate the team’s third goal of the game, scored by Greer off an assist from Fowler. (Courtesy/John Ewing)

Catherine Fowler ’15 and Lauren Greer ’13 celebrate the team’s third goal of the game, scored by Greer off an assist from Fowler. (Courtesy/John Ewing)

By Fritz Parker

The third-ranked Middlebury women’s field hockey team defeated a pair of top-ten NESCAC opponents this weekend, edging visiting Bowdoin 2-1 on Saturday, Sept. 22, before beating Amherst by a 3-1 tally on the following day.

Tri-captain Lauren Greer ’13 put Middlebury on the board first against fifth-ranked Bowdoin, converting on a breakaway feed from Katherine Theiss ’14 for the early goal. Goalkeeper Madeline Brooks ’13 made several strong saves to help Middlebury weather eight Bowdoin shots and four penalty corners during the first half. On the offensive end, Greer connected on a pass to Cat Fowler ’15, who beat the Polar Bear keeper to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead going into the break.

Bowdoin got one back in the opening minutes of the second period, beating Brooks to trim the Middlebury lead to one. That would be as close as they would come, as a strong Panther defensive unit, led by Margaret Souther ’13 and Meredith Rowe ’15, shut down the Polar Bear attack for the remaining 30 minutes to give Middlebury the 2-1 victory.

The Panthers finished on top despite being outshot 15-14 on the afternoon, their first such deficit of the season.

“We scored our two goals in the first half to give us some breathing room, which may have contributed to how we were able to play calmly,” said Fowler. “The pair of first-half goals definitely set the tone.”

Middlebury returned to action the following afternoon against 10th-ranked Amherst.

Anna Kenyon ’16 got the Panthers out to an early lead, taking a pass from Greer two minutes in and converting for the second goal of her career. The Lord Jeffs equalized minutes later, and the score stayed knotted at 1-1 until the final ten seconds of the half, when Greer took a penalty-corner insert pass from Charlotte Gardiner ’13 and found the cage to give Middlebury the halftime lead.

In the second half, Greer notched her second tally of the game, giving her three goals and two assists for the weekend to run the Panther lead to two at 3-1. Brooks played a strong second half in goal for Middlebury, rejecting six shots down the stretch to help the Panthers run out the clock for the victory.

Both wins avenge regular-season losses from a year ago for the Panthers. Middlebury also fell to Bowdoin in last year’s NESCAC title game before exacting revenge in the NCAA semifinals.

With the two victories, Middlebury moves to a perfect 5-0 on the year and 4-0 in NESCAC play. The Panthers take sole possession of the top spot in the conference, dealing both Bowdoin and Amherst their first losses of the young season.

Saturday’s defeat was the first regular-season loss for the Polar Bears since October of 2010, snapping a streak of 18 consecutive victories.

“These are definitely teams that we have seen multiple times in previous seasons, so we will most likely see them again,” said Fowler. “We are excited to be 5-0, a place none of us have been before, and we plan to run off of this momentum as we move into the middle of our season.”

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