AMHERST, Mass. – Opening their 2019 NESCAC slate with a tough, back-and-forth battle, the No. 20 Amherst College field hockey team was unable to withstand a late push by the visitors that saw them force overtime with time winding down as No. 15 Bowdoin College claimed the 2-1 victory Saturday afternoon at Gooding Field.
With the loss, Amherst falls to 1-1 on the season and to 0-1 in league play, while Bowdoin improves to 2-0 on the year (1-0 NESCAC). Amherst returns to action with a midweek non-conference clash on Wednesday, Sept. 11 when they host Keene State beginning at 7PM.
The sides came out swinging in an exciting first half, with both keepers being forced to make highlight reel saves to keep the contest scoreless.
The visitors had two quality chances in the opening quarter, with Manveer Sandhu and Emma Stevens each testing senior keeper Emilie Flamme.
Sandhu nearly opened scoring 3:20 seconds into play, as she ripped a blast from the top of the arc off a corner insertion pass, however Flamme proved up to the task as she recorded a sprawling pad save. Testing the Mammoths' keeper once again five minutes later, a leading pass gave Stevens a uncontested path to net, but once again Flamme played the scoring chance perfectly as she came cut down the angle and registered a sliding stop.
Amherst's best chance of the opening half came at the 12:40 mark in the second period, with Caroline Donahue '21 gaining the edge on her defender down the left side, but Maddie Ferrucci came up big for the Polar Bears to keep things deadlocked, making a kick save on the sophomore's attempt to bury a shot into the opposite corner.
Breaking through in the third quarter, the Mammoths claimed a 1-0 lead after drawing a penalty corner opportunity with 7:14 on the clock. Flooding the front of the net following the insertion pass, Grace Johnson '22 tipped Sage Geyer's '22 shot from the top of the arc to Laura Schwartzman '20 on the far post for the redirect score.
Netting the tying score in the 56th minute, Peyton Jackson played hero for the Polar Bears to force overtime between the sides. Sandhu set up the scoring play as she forced a turnover deep in Mammoth territory and forced Flamme to come out of her net to make a highlight reel sliding save on a breakaway attempt. Capitalizing on the ensuing scramble, Elizabeth Growney grabbed the loose ball and dished a pass to Jackson at the top of the arc who powered a shot into the bottom left corner with 3:19 on the clock.
Drawing three corner opportunities in the 7-v-7 overtime, Bowdoin captured the sudden death win at the 63:49 mark as Abby Basha put home the Polar Bear's third shot on target after back-to-back saves following a corner.
In between the pipes, Flamme (1-1) recorded eight stops for Amherst in the losing effort, while Ferrucci (1-1) posted five saves in the win for the Polar Bears.
Bowdoin held a slight edge in both shots and penalty corners, 19-13 and 10-9, respectively, while Beth Williamson '22 led the Mammoths in shot attempts with five on the day.