Date Posted:11/12/2003,  3:30PM

Field Hockey Sweeps NESCAC Honors

BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Bowdoin College field hockey team was honored by the New England Small College Athletic Conference on Wednesday, as the Polar Bears swept the league's honors.

Leading the way was junior forward Marissa O'Neil (Manchester, N.H.) who was selected by the league's coaches as Player of the Year. In addition, first-year Taryn King (Georgetown, Mass.) and head coach Nicky Pearson were tabbed as Rookie and Coach of the Year, respectively. Bowdoin finished their season with a mark of 13-3, second place overall in the NESCAC.

O'Neil had perhaps the best season ever for a field hockey player at Bowdoin, tying the school record for goals (19), while breaking the school mark for assists (17). Her 55 points for the year shattered the previous record of 46. Her 39 career goals is tied for second all-time at the school.

Joining O'Neil on the first-team were seniors Amanda Burrage (Brookline, Mass.) and Gillian McDonald (Hudson, Que.). A dominant midfielder, Burrage capped a successful senior year with her second straight First-Team All-NESCAC Selection. A First-Team All-New England selection and Second-Team All-American in 2002, Burrage ranks fourth on Bowdoin's all-time list with 17 career assists.

Senior netminder McDonald graduates from Bowdoin holding almost every goalkeeping record, including career wins (48), career shutouts (30), single-season GAA (0.44) and minutes played (4,097). A four-year starter, she was a First-Team All-NESCAC selection all four seasons at Bowdoin and was a First-Team All-New England player last year.

First-year King was tabbed as Rookie of the Year and a second-team choice after a stellar campaign that saw her score four goals and add seven assists. Beyond the numbers, King was a dominant force in the midfield both offensively and defensively for the Polar Bears.

Senior Britney Carr (Conway, N.H.) joined King on the second team after scoring four goals as a back this season. She was also a crucial member of Bowdoin?s defensive corps that allowed only 17 goals in 16 games in 2003.

Coach Pearson collects the Coach of the Year honor for the third time in four seasons. Pearson also won the award in 2002 and 2000. Her mark at Bowdoin is a stellar 99-29 in eight seasons at the school.