Jeffs Upset No. 4 Bowdoin, 4-2

FHTeam Celebration.jpgContact: Ben Badua


AMHERST, Mass. - Netting three goals over a span of 12:01 in the second half, the 11th-ranked Amherst field hockey team earned a hard-fought, 4-2,  upset win over No. 4 Bowdoin (2-1, 1-1 NESCAC) on Gooding Field.

Annika Nygren ’16 accounted for two of the Jeff (1-2, 1-1 NESCAC) scores, including the go-ahead goal with less than 18 minutes to go in regulation. Katie Paolano ’16 added a goal and an assist as Amherst snapped a five-game losing streak to the Polar Bears, picking up their first victory over their northern rivals since the 2009 season opener.

Applying pressure early, the Jeffs won their first penalty corner just four minutes after the opening whistle. Inserting the ball toward the top of the circle, Ellie Andersen ’15 found Alex Philie ’14, who made a quick move around a defender. Looking to goal, the senior rifled a shot past goalkeeper Hannah Gartner ’15, but Kelsey Mullaney ’16 knocked down the try on the backpost to momentarily keep Bowdoin level.

Continuing to move forward, the Jeffs broke through at 11:31 on Nygren’s second tally of 2013. Coming away with the ball on the ride side, Paolano fed Nygren, who ripped a low shot into the left side of the cage to put the home team on top.

Hoping to change the momentum, Bowdoin moved into the offensive circle in the 17th minute. Generating the Polar Bears’ first great scoring opportunity, Colleen Finnerty ’15 found herself alone on the left post, but Amherst netminder Rachel Tannenbaum ’15 made a diving kick save.

Still looking for their first score with just over 10 minutes to go in the half, Bowdoin earned its second penalty corner of the game. Emily Simonton ’15 inserted it to Finnerty who put a shot on goal. Moving to the front of the net, Simonton hammered home the rebound to knot things at 1-1. Winning a pair of corners in the latter stages of the half, Bowdoin earned a penalty stroke after a scrum on the right post, but Tannenbaum made a diving stop on senior Katie Riley’s attempt to preserve the tie heading into the intermission.

Starting the second stanza off strong, Bowdoin earned a penalty corner on its first possession. Receiving the insert at the top of the circle, Finnerty played a ball toward the net. Redirecting the shot, Riley poked a shot past Tannenbaum to pull the visitors in front.

Moving forward in the 51st minute, first-year Mary Margaret Stoll ’17 looked to make a play near the right endline. Slotting the pass back to the middle, the rookie midfielder found Paolano who sneaked a shot past Gartner to tie it up.

Just 1:53 later, Amherst again made a move up the right flank before Krista Zsitvay ’14 sent a pass across the crease. Catching the defense out of position, Nygren tucked her second of the afternoon inside the left post to suddenly make it 3-2. Capping off a flurry of action, Andersen played a corner in the 63rd minute to Philie, who fired a shot from the top of the circle through a screen and into the cage to double the lead.

Needing to get something going, Bowdoin took possession with just over 15 minutes to play. Winning a corner, Finnerty and Kimmie Ganong ’17 put consecutive shots on net, but Tannebaum made a pair of sprawling saves to keep the Polar Bears at bay.

Trying to take advantage of another penalty corner minutes later, Finnerty and Emily McColgan ’17 again put a couple of solid tries on target, but the Amherst keeper rose to the challenge, stacking the pads to keep Bowdoin out. The visitors would earn four more penalty corners before the horn sounded, but a determined Tannenbaum continued to hold her own, racking up eight saves over the last 15:12 to seal the win.

Bowdoin finished with a 21-12 advantage in shots and a 14-7 edge in penalty corners. Tannenbaum made 14 saves in the victory, while Gartner made four stops.

The Jeffs return to action on Saturday, Sept. 21 at archrival Williams.