Field Hockey Drops Season Opener before Rebounding
By Amro El-Adle '13, Managing Sports Editor
In their season-opening road trip through Maine, the field hockey team sustained a tough loss at 11th-ranked Bowdoin before handing Bates a 5-1 thrashing on Sunday to return to the College with a 1-1 record.

What began as a game that the Jeffs had seemingly let slip out of reach eventually became a hotly contested matchup between two of the top-ranked Div. III teams in the country, as Amherst headed to Bowdoin for both teams’ season-opener. The Polar Bears wasted little time in justifying their preseason ranking, as they scored less than three minutes into the game. It was not long after that the Jeffs answered with a goal of their own, as senior tri-captain Liz Schink set the table for junior Carly Dudzik’s first goal of the afternoon.

Amherst ran into some tough breaks after that, as the Polar Bears managed to corral a couple of tip-ins and score, putting them ahead 3-1 after 42 minutes of play. “It would have been easy to hang our heads and let Bowdoin embarrass us, but we never got down on ourselves and we never got down on each other,” sophomore forward Katie McMahon pointed out. Junior Chrissy Cantone, who accompanied McMahon on the frontline, dished out two assists, to Alex Philie and then Dudzik, over the next five minutes to even things out. “Our defense made adjustments in the second half, which allowed the forwards to have more touches on the ball which in turn created more scoring opportunities,” continued McMahon.

But it was another bounce that didn’t go the Jeffs’ way that cost them the game, with a Bowdoin player scoring off her own miss in the waning moments to seal the 4-3 victory for the Polar Bears. First-year goalkeeper Claudia Easton took the loss in her first collegiate start.

In search of a win, the team then traveled farther north into Bobcats’ country. This time, the Jeffs worked quickly: Dudzik broke the ice with her third goal of the season at the 1:13 mark. Senior tri-captain Carly Leahy then kept things going with her first goal 16 minutes later, and Dudzik scored once more shortly after that to put the Jeffs ahead 3-0. McMahon, who had assisted on two of the previous goals, called her own number for the next two to push the lead to 5-0. Bates would score a goal in the final moments to prevent the shutout.

As impressive as the offense was against the Bobcats (the Jeffs took 16 shots in the first period to Bates’ two), the defense proved just as noteworthy, as sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Wise anchored a backfield that stifled Bates all day, allowing only six shots.

The Jeffs have another NESCAC game slated for this Friday, when they will be facing off against Tufts at 4:30 p.m. on Gooding Field.

Issue 02, Submitted 2010-09-19 23:07:47