MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- No. 3 Middlebury scored a pair of first-half goals and held off No. 5 Bowdoin for an eventual 2-1 win in a battle between nationally-ranked squads on Saturday.

The Panthers, ranked third in the latest NFHCA Division III poll, improve to 4-0 and deal the fifth-ranked Polar Bears their first regular season loss since October 2010, snapping a string of 18 consecutive wins.

The Panthers took an early lead eight minutes into play as Katherine Theiss made a pass to Lauren Greer, who flicked the ball past Bowdoin netminder Kayla Lessard. Lessard made several saves on penalty corners, allowing Bowdoin to make a bid to tie the score at one late in the half.

Brooke Phinney ripped a shot off a penalty corner that was swept off the goal line by defender Meredith Rowe to preserve the hosts' one-goal edge. Moments later, Greer connected with Catherine Fowler, who got a shot past Lessard for a 2-0 edge at 26:16.

Middlebury carried its lead through halftime until Bowdoin's Katie Riley redirected a shot attempt to trim the edge to 2-1. The Polar Bears had seven shots in the second half, but could not find an equalizer.

Bowdoin's Lessard and Middlebury's Madeline Brooks finished with six saves each in the game. Bowdoin held a 15-14 advantage in shots.