The field hockey team suffered a tough 4-1 defeat to Bowdoin to kick off its 2013 campaign. The team’s lone goal came from captain Blair Ingraham ’14 in the first half, while Bowdoin held the Cardinals to only four shots in the second half. Sara Grundy ’16 stopped 12 of 16 shots on goal during her season debut in net.

“Bowdoin was a skilled opponent with good sticks, good speed, and they played well as a unit,” said Coach Patti Klecha-Porter. “They had a couple of really good players who could cut onto the ball and really got behind our defense.”

Although the Cardinals did not come out on top, Klecha-Porter was very pleased with the offensive corner unit and the opportunities that arose from these situational plays. She felt the team was able to flood Bowdoin’s D, which is the semicircle area around the goal, and create a lot of good scoring chances.

“We actually played some very good hockey in the first five to seven minutes of the game, and then at the last five to seven minutes where we really turned it on,” the coach added. “We need to carry that through an entire game, not pick and choose our moments. Our moments are the entire time.”

Klecha-Porter is not the only one disappointed with the play against Bowdoin. Though she was able to get on the board herself, Ingraham was adamant that her team is better than the result in Brunswick, ME.

“The score of our Bowdoin game does not reflect how we played,” the captain said. “Bowdoin is a great team and I think we let them set the pace of the game from the start, but we came back with bursts of energy that resulted in a goal and plenty of scoring opportunities throughout the game.”

Even so, the second-half shooting drought is cause for concern for Ingraham. Although the defense was compromised repeatedly in the opener, she expressed faith in her team’s performance on that side of the ball and chalked it up to the strength of their formidable opponent.

“We did a good job working together as a unit, but I think we can improve this part of our game even more. We need to work on being more offensive by strengthening the connection between our midfield and forward lines,” Ingraham said. “Our defense was put to the test against Bowdoin’s fast attack, but the team maintained composure.”

This early in the season, it’s all about the process rather than the results for Coach Klecha-Porter. Though her team was dealt a resounding defeat and was stonewalled offensively in the second half, the Cardinals’ approach to the game gave her reason to be hopeful.

“I like how we are functioning and really looking for the open player,” the coach said. “I love the system we are playing, I am really happy with that. I think the players are settled in with the system. I think they are aware of each other on the field, which is nice. But we need to execute things better, do things quicker, do it faster, and do it stronger.”

As field hockey prepares for its home opener against Wellesley (3-1) on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 7:00 p.m., there will not be a lot of time to correct these flaws. That said, Ingraham is hoping to minimize the deficiencies with more confident and aggressive play.

“We’re looking forward to setting the pace of the game against Wellesley on our home turf,” Ingraham said.

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