GENEVA, N.Y. – For the second year in a row, nationally-ranked No. 18 MIT saw its season end at the hands of No. 6 Bowdoin College as the Engineers fell to the Polar Bears, 3-1, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday afternoon. The Cardinal and Gray finished the year with a record of 17-3 following their third NEWMAC title and third NCAA tournament appearance in four years.
Bowdoin struck first as it converted on its second penalty corner attempt in the 12th minute. Senior Brooke Phinney (Dedham, Mass.) unleashed a shot from the top of the circle which fellow classmate Cathleen Smith (Larchmont, N.Y.) redirected through a crowd. Junior Molly Duffy (New Providence, N.J.) produced the equalizer almost six minutes later as she corralled a long pass that made its way untouched through the midfield. Bowdoin goalie Kayla Lessard (Enfield, Conn.) met her at the top of the circle, but Duffy was able to slip the ball past her for the score.
The Polar Bears controlled play during the next 12 minutes as they almost broke the deadlock on a penalty stroke but senior Kassey Matoin's (Springvale, Maine) shot was off the mark. The defensive battle ended when Bowdoin scored twice during the final 5:28 of the half to establish a 3-1 advantage. Matoin found Phinney for the go-ahead goal following a penalty corner while sophomore Colleen Finnerty (Hopkinton, Mass.) connected on a feed from junior Katie Riley (Hingham, Mass.).
Despite the deficit, MIT continued to attack as strikes by seniors Kimberly Barker (Camden, N.Y.) and Molly McShane (Lake Bluff, Ill.) caused Lessard to make a diving stop along with a pad save early in the second stanza. Bowdoin responded by thwarting the Engineers' attempts towards their offensive zone while generating 15 shots and 12 penalty corners. MIT's defense was up to the task as senior Michelle Dion (Lunenberg, Mass.) earned a defensive save, sophomore goalie Jenna Klein (Parma, Ohio) turned away five shots, and four shots were blocked in the circle.
Klein finished the game with eight saves while Lessard registered two for the Polar Bears.