MEDFORD – The No. 5 Tufts University field hockey team dropped their regular-season finale 2-1 in overtime against No. 4 Bowdoin College in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) action on Wednesday night at Ounjian Field.
|Junior Alexis Chauvette had five shots on goal, six total in the contest.|
The Jumbos close out the regular season with a 12-3 record overall and an 8-2 record in NESCAC play. The Polar Bears improve to 14-1 overall with a 9-1 record in league games.
The Jumbos are the third seed entering the NESCAC playoffs and will host the sixth seed Colby on Saturday afternoon at 1 pm. The Polar Bears earned the second seed and host seventh-seed Hamilton College.
Tufts scored early after gaining possession at the top of the arc following a ball out of the Bowdoin goalline. Taking a pass down in the right corner, sophomore Gillian Roeca spun and sent the ball into the middle of the arc for junior Beth Krikorian. She one-touched a shot into the bottom left of the goal which gave the Jumbos the lead just 1:35 into the contest.
A green card was issued to Tufts freshman Jackie McCarthy midway through the first quarter, but stout defense by the Jumbos did not allow an opportunity for Bowdoin to shoot.
Tufts senior Rachel Hamilton made a strong drive from her own half, beat one defender at midfield and worked a two-on-one with Roeca. However, Roeca's shot was blocked by the Bowdoin defense.
Another shot by Roeca forced Bowdoin's Maddie Ferrucci to make a save. The rebound came loose, and a foul inside the arc gave the Jumbos a penalty corner. Senior Marguerite Salamone inserted a pass to Krikorian who dished the ball to her right for junior Melissa Manzello. Her shot went just wide. Tufts earned another penalty corner just a minute later, but nothing came of the opportunity.
Bowdoin earned their first shot of the contest by Kara Finnerty. Jumbo sophomore goalkeeper Andie Stallman kicked away a long shot.
Neither team earned a strong opportunity to score in the second quarter as both teams locked down defensively. The teams headed to the break with the Jumbos leading 1-0.
Into the second half, Bowdoin had a great opportunity to score as Finnerty fired a shot that was blocked away. However, the rebound came to Emma Stevens who fired a shot on Stallman. She made a blocker save to keep the Polar Bears off the board.
Another Polar Bear opportunity came midway through the third quarter as Stevens redirected a shot wide. However, the Bowdoin pressure would continue. Stevens earned free space in the arc. Her shot was saved by Stallman, but the rebound would find Peyton Jackson who fired home the equalizer with 6:05 remaining in the third.
Early in the fourth quarter Bowdoin had an opportunity for a redirection goal, but the pass was missed. On the ensuing drive by the Jumbos, Roeca made a defender miss and fired a shot that went just wide of the goal.
The Jumbos had a golden opportunity to score later in the frame. Sophomore Sophie Schoeni played a long ball towards goal for junior Alexis Chauvette. She knocked the ball down in front and paused to fire a clean shot. However, Ferrucci kept the ball out of the cage and kept the contest tied.
Following Jackson's second green card with less than five minutes to play, which makes it a yellow card, the Jumbos had a five-minute player advantage. Tufts earned a penalty corner with two minutes to play in regulation, but they were called for a foul and negated the opportunity. Late in the period, the Jumbos earned four penalty corners, but just one shot from those corners was on goal and was saved.
The yellow card had five seconds of carry over into overtime and that was quickly killed off. However, a green card on Finnerty gave the Jumbos another extra-player opportunity.
Chauvette nearly ended the contest after she broke free in the arc. She slapped a shot that Ferrucci needed to make a blocker save on to keep the contest going. Another opportunity came for Chauvette that forced the Polar Bear goalkeeper to make a diving save. A penalty corner for the Jumbos saw Salamone insert a pass to Krikorian. She found Schoeni who fired a shot that beat Ferrucci. However, the game-winner was waived off.
Bowdoin drove down the field from there and earned a penalty corner, with Elle Brine inserting. That went to the right side of the arc and a pass back went to Georgie Coetzer. Her initial shot was saved by Stallman, but the rebound shot by Coetzer beat the Jumbo goalkeeper and earned a 2-1 overtime victory by the visitors.
Stallman made four saves on six shots on goal in the losing effort. She falls to 12-3 on the season. Ferrucci, outstanding in the overtime period, made seven saves on eight shots on goal. She improves to 12-1.