Oct. 29, 2010

Courtesy of Tufts Athletics

MEDFORD, Mass. - In the regular-season finale with the #1 seed in NESCAC on the line, Tufts senior Tamara Brown (Annandale, VA) scored her 20th goal of the season with 15 minutes remaining in the first half and it stood up for a 1-0 Jumbo victory against Bowdoin College in field hockey action on Friday at Bello Field.

In a meeting between national powers, #5 in the nation Tufts took first place in NESCAC with the head-to-head victory over #4 Bowdoin. Both teams finished the regular-season with identical 13-1 records overall and 8-1 in the league. Tufts will play Bates and Bowdoin will face Connecticut College in the first round of the NESCAC Championship on Sunday.

Though the action was played at a good pace, scoring chances were few between two of the top defensive teams in the nation. Early in the game, Brown sent a pass into the front of the cage area that Bowdoin defended away. However, she later took a pass out front by classmate Melissa Burke (Walpole, MA) and knocked it past Bowdoin goalie Emily Neilson (Chatham, PA) to give the Jumbos the advantage.

Immediately after the Tufts goal, Bowdoin had its best chance of the game when a point-blank shot by junior Katie Herter (Topsfield, MA) was saved by Tufts' Marianna Zak (Concord, MA). That would be the only shot on goal all afternoon by the Polar Bears. The first half ended with shots tied at 2-2 and no penalty corners taken.

The Jumbos had two excellent scoring chances early in the second half on shots by Lindsay Griffith (Wilminton, DE) and Amanda Roberts (Wenham, MA), but Neilson was on the spot to kick them away. Bowdoin then had its best offensive momentum of the game, earning three corners within a seven-minute span. However, one blocked shot was all they could manage from the chances.

Tufts earned its first corner with 8:15 remaining in the second half, and it led to a good shot by junior Sarah Cannon (Atkinson, NH) that was saved by Neilson. The Polar Bear keeper made her fourth and final save on a shot by first year Emily Cannon (Atkinson, NH) after a second Jumbo corner.

The Jumbos will be the #1 seed in the conference tournament for the second time, including 2008. They finished with an 8-3 advantage in shots against Bowdoin.