The USM field hockey team came into last Tuesday’s game against No. 7 ranked Bowdoin College experimenting with their new formation transition, but it didn’t work in their favor as the Polar Bears got the best of the Huskies 3-0.

Although USM didn’t come out on top, they withstood all thirteen penalty corners against Bowdoin and played a strong defensive game. 

 “A 3-0 game against a [nationally ranked] team is a good sign” said coach Bonny Brown-Denico, commenting on being very proud of her team playing such a solid defensive game.

 Bowdoin has been a powerhouse in the Division III for the past five years, and they are recognized nationally as a very strong team.  Because of this, the Huskies changed their formation again, picking a more defensive line – a 4-2-3-1 formation.  The extra defensemen helped hold off the tenacious Polar Bear’s offensive line until they exploded with three goals.

The game started, and ended, with the Bowdoin Bears in control.  Aside from a few brief opportunities, the Huskies played most of the game on their side of the field. USM freshman goalie Kayla Kennedy (Windham) made a big save at the13th minute; however, her efforts couldn’t hold back the wave of attacks by the relentless Bowdoin offense. 

Bowdoin junior forward Katie Herter scored at the 16:17 mark, and then right after, a second goal came off the stick of sophomore midfielder Kassey Matoin.  Kennedy made a total of nine saves on the day.

 USM kept close pressure on the Polar Bears and fought every opportunity they had through the end of the first half. The Huskies also did well to keep the score at three, as Bowdoin put 20 shots on goal to USM’s one. 

 The second half saw Bowdoin controlling most of the play, dominating both the offensive and defensive sides.  The Polar Bears found the Huskies defense to be very difficult to penetrate.  In the final twenty seconds of the match, Herter scored again for Bowdoin.

With the win Bowdoin improves its record to 4-0 overall, and the Huskies fall to 3-5 with the loss.   

On Monday, Bethany Bougie (Sanford) was named the Little East Conference Defensive Player of the Week.  This is the second time Bethany has received the award; the first time was in 2009.  The team has regarded her as an instrumental part in the midfield, giving leadership and confidence to the team.

The Huskies are looking ahead as they face some tough matchups in the near future.  USM will take on four straight Little East Conference opponents when they will travel to Worcester State on Wednesday, Sept. 29; they will host Westfield State on Saturday, Oct. 2, and will travel to Salem State on Tuesday Oct. 5 and to Keene State on Saturday, Oct. 9.

 USM is currently in ninth place in the LEC, and if they can pull out wins in these four conference games it will put them in great position to get a decent seed in the LEC tournament.


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