Nov. 22, 2008

Courtesy of Ursinus Athletics

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – Defending national champion Bowdoin (18-2) advanced to the title game for the second straight season as the Polar Bears held off second-ranked Ursinus (19-3) 3-2 on Saturday afternoon at a frosty Eleanor Frost Snell Alumnae Field in the semifinals of the 2008 NCAA Division III Field Hockey championships.

Bowdoin will take on NESCAC rival Tufts, who defeated Messiah in the other semifinal, 5-2. The two will play at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

In weather more suited for ice hockey, Bowdoin struck first as senior midfielder Julia King scored her sixth goal of the season on a deflection off of a Ursinus defender at 7:25 for a 1-0 lead. Senior defender Kristen Veiga had the assist.

Ursinus marched back and tied the score, as senior forward Kait Sutherland (Perkiomenville, PA/Perkiomen Valley) scored her 14th goal of the season on an assist by junior forward Jessica Zatwarnicki (Reading, PA/Exeter) at 13:01. The goal came off a penalty corner, which Ursinus held a 11-4 advantage in.

Bowdoin punched in two goals in a span of 2:04 to take a 3-1 lead. The first goal came at 27:43 as senior forward Lindsay McNamara scored on a deflection from junior defender Kara Kelley, followed by a goal from freshman forward Katie Herter at 29:47. McNamara had the assist on Herter’s goal.

In the second half, Ursinus cut the deficit to 3-2 when freshman forward Alyssa Thren (Barto, PA/Upper Perkiomen) scored her 17th goal of the season on an assist from senior forward Jennie Moore (Phoenixville, PA/Phoenixville). Thren dived in front of the goal to re-direct the Moore pass

However, Bowdoin turned up the defensive pressure inside the circle following the goal. Ursinus pulled junior goalie Erica Scott (Carneys Point, NJ/St. Elizabeth) with 6:39 left in the second half in favor of an extra attacker. The Bears could manage just two shots in that time span.

Scott finished with two saves, while Bowdoin senior goalkeeper Emileigh Mercer had eight saves for the Polar Bears.