BRYN MAWR, Pa. - You could not ask for a better day to kick off the 2017 season for the Bryn Mawr field hockey team. With incredibly comfortable conditions and a huge crowd lining Applebee Field, the Owls stepped up and put on a great showing in their season-opener against Cedar Crest. Bryn Mawr was dominant from start to finish in today's contest, outshooting the visitors by an 18-2 margin and out-cornering them 15-2. Cedar Crest proved a tough nut to crack, putting up a valiant effort on the backend under constant pressure. However, that pressure ultimately created a couple diamonds for the Owls, as freshman Kelly Bergman and junior captain Emma Hicks each scored their first career goals to give the Owls a thrilling 2-0 win on the afternoon.
The Owls were on the front foot right out of the gate, with three corners and three shots in the first ten minutes of play. They would keep the pressure going throughout the first half, working hard to earn several more corners and force Cedar Crest goalkeeper Emma Ryan to make some key saves. Finally, the Owls' efforts paid off in the 25th minute, thanks to yet another corner. Hicks inserted the ball to the top of the circle, where it was stopped and then sent to the left wing. There, Grace Morris collected and sent a hard ball directly to the stick of Kelly Bergman at the front of the cage. The Pennsylvania native made a spectacular play, collecting the pass, turning, and firing a shot seemingly all in one motion. The ball cannoned past Ryan and into the center of the cage, giving Bryn Mawr a big 1-0 lead with 10 minutes to go in the first half.
From there, things settled down slightly, and though the Owls continued to dominate possession, they didn't have much more to show for it by the end of the first half. That trend continued into the second half as well. Bryn Mawr and Bergman nearly recorded their second goal of the game just 16 seconds into the frame, but her shot went just wide. Later, the freshman would get two more great looks at goal on back-to-back shots in front of the cage, but the Falcons' goalkeeper was up to the task and kept the pads together for two great stops. Cedar Crest was able to earn their first two penalty corners of the game inside the final 15 minutes. However, both of those efforts resulted in no shots for the Falcons, as Bryn Mawr's defense immediately jumped on their opponents and gave them no time to do anything with the opportunities.
Finally, Bryn Mawr would get that insurance goal they had been looking for the whole half. With under two minutes to play, the Owls earned yet another corner, with Hicks once again acting as the ignition. She centered the ball up top to Morris, who this time seemed to send a shot towards the cage. However, it was absorbed by a mass of bodies in front, where a mad scramble ensued. Somehow, Bergman was able to get her stick on the ball and direct it back to Hicks. The junior captain knew exactly what to do with it, firing into a semi-open cage to ensure the Owls victory in the affair.
Bergman's goal for Bryn Mawr made her the quickest Owls freshman to their first career goal since Kayla Bixler in 2012. Hicks' goal on the day was also her first career goal as well. Angela Meng came up huge for the Owls in the cage with a couple saves when called upon. For the junior, that meant her first career shutout, and it was well-deserved.
Bryn Mawr will look to stay undefeated to open the season when they get back in action on Monday. The Owls will celebrate Labor Day by getting back to work on Applebee Field, where they will host Ramapo. The two teams will face off at 1:00 PM on Monday, with the Owls looking for their first 2-0 start to a season since 2013.