NORTON, MA- The Wheaton College field hockey team held nationally-ranked Bowdoin College off the scoreboard for more than 20 minutes on Sunday before succumbing to the two-time defending national champions, 6-0 on Clark Field during Homecoming weekend.
The Lyons slipped to 5-5 in falling to their second straight New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) foe, while the Polar Bears improved to 6-2. Bowdoin is ranked 13th by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA). This marked the 30th consecutive season in which the squads squared off.
Senior Andrea Bagley (Foxboro, MA/Foxboro) stood strong in the Wheaton cage, making a season-high 16 saves. Sophomore back Bonnie Davies (Roxbury, CT/Shepaug Valley) contributed a defensive stop for the Lyons.
Senior Shavonne Lord (Shrewsbury, MA/Shrewsbury) scored twice for Bowdoin, while sophomore McKenna Teague (Cohasset, MA/Notre Dame Academy) turned in a goal and an assist. Between the pipes, junior Emily Neilson (Chatham, PA/Taft School) recorded one save in nearly 58 minutes to pick up the victory before being relieved.
Wheaton's defense withstood Bowdoin's offensive pressure for much of the first half before the Polar Bears struck in the 21st minute, as junior Jessie Small's (Wayne, PA/Episcopal Academy) long cross from the end line found classmate Ingrid Oelschlager (Roanoke, VA/Phillips Exeter Academy), who tallied at 20:39. Soon thereafter, another Bowdoin try went toward the upper left-hand corner of the cage, but Bagley knocked the shot away with her stick.
The visitors, who finished with advantages of 31-1 in shots and 24-2 in penalty corners, padded their lead with five goals in a span of less than 21 minutes during the second half. Lord tallied in the 40th minute, and Bagley kept it a 2-0 game by swatting away Oelshlager's penalty stroke at 46:27. However, just 1:11 later, Lord found the back of the cage again. Sophomore Elizabeth Clegg (Hudson, OH/Western Reserve Academy) added to Bowdoin's lead 1:05 after that following a fight for possession at the left post with Wheaton defenders.
Freshman Cathleen Smith (Larchmont, NY/Mamaroneck) and Teague capped the scoring by tallying in the 56th and 61st minutes, respectively.
Wheaton continues its six-game homestand by heading back into New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play against Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m.