Field Hockey Team Wins National Championship in Double-Overtime
Story posted November 23, 2008
Senior forward Lindsay McNamara scored the game-winning goal in double-overtime to lift the Bowdoin College field hockey team to its second-consecutive NCAA Division III Championship on Sunday, November 23, 2008, 3-2 over Tufts. The Polar Bears (20-2) are just the fourth school in Division III history to win consecutive national championships.
During play in Collegeville, Pa., Tufts shocked Bowdoin with the quickest goal that the Polar Bears had allowed all season, with Tamara Brown deflecting a shot over the shoulder of Emileigh Mercer to give the Jumbos a 1-0 lead just 1:13 into the contest. It didn't take long for Bowdoin to respond, as Madeleine McQueeney put home a rebound of a Kara Kelley shot at 2:38 to tie the game at one apiece.
Eight minutes later, another shot by Kelly bounced off the pads of Tufts goaltender Marianna Zak and to the waiting stick of Shavonne Lord. Lord slapped home the loose ball at 10:33 to give Bowdoin a 2-1 advantage. The Polar Bears out-shot Tufts 8-2 in the opening half, but couldn't find the back of the net again and carried the one-goal lead into the break.
Tufts upped the offensive pressure in the second period, and had a series of three consecutive penalty corners.
Brittany Holiday had a pair of fantastic chances on the doorstep, but Mercer proved up to the task, making a pair of spectacular saves — including one with the blocker to maintain Bowdoin's one-goal lead.
Midway through the second period, Tufts was finally able to deadlock the score as a turnover led to a breakaway for the Jumbos.
Michelle Kelly found Brown open on the left wing, and Brown slipped the ball under the pads of Mercer to tie the score with 21:06 remaining.
The Jumbos had a great chance with under five minutes to play, garnering a pair of penalty corner chances.
Mercer made a good leg-pad save on a shot by Brown to keep the game tied. The Jumbos continued to apply pressure, getting another corner and Mercer made another strong kick-save off a chance by Margi Scholtes with 2:30 remaining to force overtime.
Back-and-forth play in the first overtime saw Mercer and Zak make consecutive nice saves to keep the game scoreless. Bowdoin's best chance came with seconds remaining in the opening OT, but Lindsay McNamara's shot from the top of the circle hit the post and the game entered a second overtime period.
Bowdoin continued to pressure the goal in the second overtime and it paid off, as Katie Herter wristed a shot off of Zak and Lindsay McNamara pounced on the rebound, deflecting the ball into the cage for the national-championship winning score.
McNamara and her senior teammates close out their careers as one of finest classes in Division III field hockey history. The eight-member class of McNamara, Tamlyn Frederick, Kate Gormley, Madeleine McQueeney, Julia King, Leah Ferenc, Kristen Veiga and Emileigh Mercer finish with an overall record of 74-5, a 21-2 postseason record, four NESCAC Championships and a pair of NCAA crowns.
Individually, the goal proved to be the perfect ending to McNamara's collegiate career. Her final goal of the season was her 32nd this year, the 92nd of her career and undoubtedly the most important for the school's all-time leading goal scorer. She also finishes as the all-time leading goal scorer in NCAA Division III Tournament play. McNamara was joined on the All-Tournament team by Mercer, Leah Ferenc and Kara Kelley for Bowdoin.
The Polar Bears join the College of New Jersey (1990-91, '95-'96), Cortland State (1993-94) and Salisbury University (2003-05) as the only schools to win repeat NCAA crowns in field hockey. Sunday's contest was the third this season between the NESCAC rivals, as the squads split the first two meetings. Tufts' (19-2) only losses this year were to Bowdoin.
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