Date Posted:09/06/2002,  8:00AM

2002 Field Hockey Preview

The 2001 edition of the Bowdoin Field Hockey team proved to be an impressive one, as the Polar Bears posted a 13-3 mark on their way to a trip to the NESCAC Semifinals. Despite losing three key seniors from last season, and another underclassman to the study abroad program, head coach Nicky Pearson is returning four of her top five scorers, including an All-NESCAC goaltender. Needless to say, the future is bright in Brunswick.

The Polar Bear offense will rely on a solid group of returners, led by 2001 NESCAC Rookie of the Year Marissa O?Neil (Manchester, N.H.), who exploded onto the scene with a team-high nine goals in 2001. Senior Leah McClure (Rothesay, N.B.) was second on the team with 17 points, while senior Jackie Templeton (Middlebury, Conn.) was third with 11 points. Looking to contribute to the scoring up front this season will be an exciting group of underclassmen, including sophomore Colleen McDonald (Greenfield, Mass.) and first-years Allyson Craib (Harrison, Maine) and Kristi Gannon (Boston, Mass.).

A group of solid midfielders is key to the team?s success, especially on the artificial surface at Ryan Field. Juniors Amanda Burrage (Brookline, Mass.) and Faye Hargate (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) will be relied on for key experience, while sophomores Sarah Hippert (Spencer, Mass.) and Jessica Ross (Spencer, Mass.) will try to improve on exciting first seasons. Newcomers in this group will be first-years Abby Daley (Canton, Conn.) and Margaret Gormley (Chestnut Hill, Mass.).

The Polar Bear defense combines a promising group of young players with invaluable experience that Pearson will hope steps up this fall. Senior Sarah Laverty (Concord, Mass.) leads the group with junior Britney Carr (Conway, N.H.) bringing a veteran presence to the field. Sophmore Kate Brady (Bethesda, Md.) will fight for more playing time this season as first-years Jacqueline Stahl (Millbrook, N.Y.) and Elizabeth Hoering (South Freeport, Maine) will look to scrap their way into the lineup.

Junior Gillian McDonald (Hudson, Que.) is coming off a stellar sophomore campaign that saw her start every game she played. She allowed only 11 goals all season and her career 0.62 goals against average ranks her first all-time at Bowdoin.

The Polar Bears will open their season on September 8 at home versus Wellesley. Their key stretch of the season will see them play four straight NESCAC contests including games at Williams (Sept. 21), vs. Amherst (Sept. 28), vs. Middlebury (Sept. 29) and vs. Tufts (Oct. 5).