Amherst Suffers 3-2 Loss to Bowdoin in Overtime of NESCAC Semifinals

Rachel Lupien '12 scored both of Amherst's goals.

Courtesy of Tufts University

MEDFORD, MA – Bowdoin College junior Katie Herter scored 5:33 into overtime to lift the Polar Bears to a 3-2 victory against Amherst College in the semifinal round of the NESCAC Field Hockey Championship Saturday afternoon at Tufts University’s Bello Field.

Bowdoin (15-1), the No. 2 seed in the tournament, advances to play top seed and host Tufts in the conference final Sunday at noon. Amherst—the fourth seed—drops to 12-4 and will await a possible at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament on Monday.

The Polar Bears had led Amherst 2-0 early in the second half, scoring first as time ran out in the opening period for a 1-0 advantage. During a penalty corner opportunity, Herter scored off her own rebound. Less than three minutes into the second period, Bowdoin junior Elizabeth Clegg sent a crossing pass to the front of the cage where sophomore Cathleen Smith popped it in and the Polar Bears seemed to be in control at 2-0.

Amherst, however, showed great resilience. Without a shot of any kind in the first 52 minutes of the game, the Lord Jeffs cut the margin to 2-1 when junior Rachel Lupien (Baltimore, MD) scored on a rebound at 17:58 of the second half. The original shot by senior tri-captain Carly Leahy (Weston, MA) was Amherst’s first of the game, and Lupien had only recently taken the field as a substitute.

The momentum shifted dramatically from there. Lord Jeff first-year Krista Zsitvay (New Vernon, NJ) had a breakaway shortly after the goal, but she lost control of the ball when she tried to move around the challenge of charging Bowdoin goalie Emily Neilson.

With the game clock winding down below six minutes, Lupien would tie the score at 2-2. On a Lord Jeff corner inserted by sophomore Katie McMahon (Denville, NJ), junior Sarah McCarrick’s (New Canaan, CT) pass was redirected into the cage by Lupien at 5:18. With three goals this season entering the game, Lupien’s pair would get Amherst to overtime on this afternoon.

The Lord Jeffs had the early pressure in overtime, with Bowdoin’s Neilson saving a shot by junior Carly Dudzik (Darien, CT) that got through on a corner opportunity. At the other end, Bowdoin earned a corner that was inserted by Clegg. A shot by senior co-captain Ingred Oelschlager was blocked, but Herter took the loose ball and scored with a great lift-shot to win the game.

Bowdoin finished with a 27-9 advantage in shots, as Lord Jeff goalie Liz Schink (Chicago, IL) was solid with 10 saves. Neilson stopped three shots at the other end for Bowdoin. The Polar Bears doubled up Amherst in penalty corners, 12-6.