Bowdoin registered a 4-3 victory over Middlebury in the Division III Field Hockey Championship at Ursinus November 17.
Junior forward Lindsay McNamara contributed a hat trick in the win that marked Bowdoin’s first NCAA national championship in any sport. It was Bowdoin’s first appearance in the national championship game after losing in the semifinals to Messiah in each of the past two seasons.
The Polar Bears finished 20-0 to become the first unbeaten national champion since 2004 and the seventh overall in Division III field hockey history. Middlebury closed the season 17-5.
Facing each other for the third time this season, Bowdoin’s McNamara opened the scoring just three minutes into the contest. Middlebury tied the match with 13:56 left in the first half when Heather McCormack buried her own rebound. Lindsay McBride gave Middlebury a 2-1 lead less than two minutes later and forced the Polar Bears to play from behind for the first time all season.
Bowdoin responded and the Polar Bears used McNamara’s second and third goals late in the first half and early in the second to pull ahead for good. Ingrid Oelschlager, the New England Small College Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year, gave Bowdoin a 4-2 advantage with 18:57 remaining in the game. Although Middlebury narrowed the gap to 4-3 on Ried Berrien’s 22nd goal on the year, the Panthers ultimately fell short.
Middlebury, Williams and Tufts were the only teams to score against Bowdoin all year. Middlebury also cracked Bowdoin’s stingy defense in a 3-1 loss in the NESCAC championship game.
The Panthers’ three goals in the national title match equaled the most the Polar Bears had allowed combined during the season. Bowdoin compiled a 76-6 goal differential during the year and the 20 victories marked a school record for wins in a season. McNamara, the NESCAC player of the year, also established a record for goals in an NCAA tournament with nine.
Lebanon Valley 0 0 — 0
Bowdoin 1 0 — 1
First half: B — Lindsay McNamara (unassisted), 17:10.
Shots: Lebanon Valley 5, Bowdoin 7. Goalkeeper saves: Lebanon Valley (Caitlin Baro) 2, Bowdoin (Emileigh Mercer) 3. Penalty corners: Lebanon Valley 2, Bowdoin 11.
Middlebury 0 1 1 — 2
Salisbury 0 1 0 — 1
First half: S — Danielle Twilley (Kristina Holland), 40:51.
Second half: M — Lindsay McBride (Lacey Farrell and Allison Grant), 52:56; M — Grant (unassisted), 75:42.
Shots: Middlebury 18, Salisbury 13. Goalkeeper saves: Middlebury (Caitlin Pentifallo) 5, Salisbury (Maria Ramoundos) 7. Penalty corners: Middlebury 10, Salisbury 16.
Middlebury 2 1 — 3
Bowdoin 2 2 — 4
First half: B — Lindsay McNamara (Julia King), 3:25; M — Heather McCormack (unassisted), 21:04; M — Lindsay McBride (Lacey Farrell and Marnie Rowe), 22:45; B — McNamara (penalty stroke), 24:26.
Second half: B — McNamara (unassisted), 43:04; B — Ingrid Oelschlager (unassisted), 51:03; M — Reid Berrien (unassisted), 56:38.
Shots: Middlebury 11, Bowdoin 13. Goalkeeper saves: Middlebury (Caitlin Pentifallo) 4, Bowdoin (Emileigh Mercer) 5. Penalty corners: Middlebury 8, Bowdoin 5.