Top-ranked Bowdoin rolls on
Unbeaten Polars Bears down MIT 3-0, advance to semifinals
BRUNSWICK, Maine -- For the sixth time in the last seven seasons, Bowdoin advanced to the Division III national semifinals, this time following a 3-0 victory against MIT in NCAA tournament quarterfinal action on Sunday afternoon at Ryan Field.
The defending national champion Polar Bears advance to play rival Middlebury in semifinal action on Saturday Nov. 19 at 11 a.m. ET at Nichols College in Dudley, Mass. Top-ranked Bowdoin (19-0) has won three of the last four Division III championships (2007, 2008, and 2010).
The Engineers finish their 2011 campaign with a record of 19-4, setting a new program record for victories in a season.
Bowdoin withstood early pressure from MIT, who mustered several sustained possessions but could not find a shot on goal. The Polar Bears broke through with less than 10 minutes remaining in the opening half, when Ella Curren blasted a hard shot from the left wing that was tipped in front by Cathleen Smith. The Engineers responded with a handful of scoring chances late in the period, the best of which came off the stick of Molly Duffy, whose shot from the left side was swept away by Bowdoin defender Kassey Matoin.
The Polar Bears came out firing in the second half, peppering the MIT net with several strong chances. The pressure paid off at 53:10, when Katie Riley accepted a feed in front from Liz Clegg and ripped a turnaround shot that slipped inside the right post for a 2-0 Bowdoin lead. Olivia King whistled a shot from the top of the circle that Clegg tipped in front, giving the Polar Bears a 3-0 advantage with 11:01 to play.
Goaltender Kayla Lessard and the Bowdoin defense took it from there, permitting just seven shots on the afternoon with Lessard making three saves. The Polar Bears have allowed just three goals in their last 13 matches dating back to Oct. 5.
MIT netminders Casey Landry (two saves, one goal against) and Jenna Klein (ten saves, two goals against) each played a half for the Engineers. Bowdoin finished with a 23-7 advantage in shots and 8-3 lead in penalty corners.