Dominating effort doesn't net win, as Bowdoin tops field hockey 1-0 in overtime

Taylor Lough applied continuous pressure on Bowdoin's defense throughout Bates' 1-0 overtime loss to the No. 10 Polar Bears on Sept. 13, 2017. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)  

LEWISTON, Maine -- Kara Finnerty scored on an open goal with 6:57 remaining in overtime, following a long assist from Elizabeth Bennewitz, to dash the Bates field hockey team's hopes of defeating its rival in a 1-0 victory for the visiting Polar Bears.

Finnerty's goal was only the fourth shot attempted in the game by Bowdoin and the second on goal. Bates outshot Bowdoin by a 15-4 margin, including a 4-2 advantage in shots on goal. The Bobcats also earned seven penalty corners and held Bowdoin to zero.

Eight minutes into the overtime period, Bennewitz sent a long ball from her defensive position forward to Finnerty, who outfought a Bates defender for the ball, then managed to poke the ball past Bates goalkeeper Adelae Durand (Cumberland, R.I.), who had advanced out of the goal

Durand, who made a spectacular save with 5:41 remaining in regulation on a breakaway by Abby Bashaw, fell helplessly to the ground on contact with Finnerty, who spun, tracked down the ball and was able to pause and line up a wide-open shot from close range.

Bowdoin (1-1, 1-1 NESCAC) extended its win streak over Bates to 32 games, dating to 1986.

The host Bobcats (0-3, 0-2), who haven't scored a goal against the Polar Bears since 2012, were the more dominant team for nearly the entire game, bucking the usual pattern of play between the Bobcats the four-time NCAA champions. Bowdoin had scored Bates by a combined 18-0 over their previous four meetings.

An all-out effort by Bates' defense formed a virtual wall around their defensive circle for almost the entire game. Senior Samantha Reiss (New Haven, Vt.), senior Caroline O'Reilly (Longmeadow, Mass.), junior Shelbie McCormack (Tyngsborough, Mass.), sophomore Alexa Jurgeleit (Barrington, R.I.), first-year Meaghan Waldron (Darien, Conn.) and perhaps sophomore Grace Fitzgerald (Larchmont, N.Y.) in particular allowed the Polar Bears almost no hope of scoring. Bowdoin attempted one shot in the first 64 minutes of the game, zero over a span of 56 minutes.

Durand's big save in the 65th minute came on a similar play to the eventual game-winning goal, as defender Elle Brine's diagonal pass to Bashaw on the breakaway traveled well over 50 yards.

Durand also made an excellent play in breaking up a cross from Bashaw in the first half.

Bowdoin first-year goalie Maddie Ferrucci made four saves for her first shutout. She was challenged most gravely with 7:30 left in regulation, when Bates first-year Bridget Tweedie (Brownfield, Maine) had an open shot lined up in the left flat that bounced wide of the goal. And about four minutes into overtime, Bates junior forward Taylor Lough (Little Compton, R.I.) surged on a breakaway into close range. Lough was picked up by two Bowdoin defenders and crossed the ball to a teammate, but the Polar Bears broke up the play.

After opening the season against three teams ranked inside the top 15 nationally, Bates will host a non-conference game against UMaine-Farmington on Saturday at noon.