IMMACULATA, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr field hockey team hit the road for the first time in 2017 on Thursday night. The Owls were seeking their third straight win to open up the season, after a very impressive start to their 2017 campaign. With wins against Cedar Crest and Ramapo already in hand, the Owls were looking for more against Immaculata, and even got off to a great start with a two-goal lead in the second half. However, the Mighty Macs used a ridiculous 12-minute offensive explosion to jump out in front 4-2. Bryn Mawr tried to battle their way back into the contest, and did get a third goal with less than a minute to play. However, it was just a little too late for a full comeback, as Immaculata ultimately held on for a 4-3 win in the contest.
Bryn Mawr was on the gas pedal from the opening whistle in this contest, with the momentum from their 2-0 start to the season seemingly spurring them onto even further heights. The Owls earned their first penalty corner just 1:36 into play, and it ultimately resulted in a shot from Grace Morris. However, Immaculata's Randie Kuhar made a strong save to keep the Owls off the board. Kuhar would have to make another solid stop just minutes later on a shot by Leia Robinson. In fact, the Owls lit up the cage in the first 15 minutes of play, with five penalty corners and five shots in that stretch alone. However, Immaculata seemed to have weathered an early storm, as Bryn Mawr called a timeout after that stretch.
That would not end up being the case. Just moments after resuming play, the Owls got on the board with an impressive "effort" goal from Leia Robinson. Freshman Samantha Shaw was able to find some space and get a pass into the circle, where Robinson latched onto the ball. The fellow first-year used her strength to battle through a pack of players and get a shot off toward the cage that sneaked past Kuhar and into the back netting, giving Bryn Mawr a 1-0 lead.
The Owls continued to dominate possession and frustrate their opponents, with Immaculata tallying three green cards in the first half alone. That pressure eventually paid off early in the second half. Just over six minutes into the period, it was Mary Cugini who gave Bryn Mawr their second goal of the game. After the Owls earned a penalty corner, Rebecca Britt inserted the ball into the circle, and Bryn Mawr's play ultimately resulted in a clean shot for Kelly Bergman. The first-year got off a good effort on cage, but it was stopped by new Mighty Macs goaltender Jackie Victor. However, Cugini scrambled to the loose ball and fired a shot that deflected off the pads of Victor and into the cage for her first goal of the season.
Unfortunately for Bryn Mawr, even that two goal cushion would not be enough. Somehow, against the entire flow of the game to that point, Immaculata had a fire lit under them. The hosts went on a 17-minute stretch where they were virtually unstoppable. They would record their first shot of the contest in the 48th minute, and then just three minutes later, the Mighty Macs got on the board on a goal from Megan Donegan. Just over four minutes later, the hosts knotted the game at 2-2 thanks to a goal from Cayla Williams. Donegan would net a second goal just five minutes after that which put the Mighty Macs on top, and then an insurance goal from Layne Kennedy made it a 4-2 lead in favor of Immaculata.
With seven minutes left to play and trailing by two, the Owls threw everything they had at trying to get back in the game. In fact, the Owls did find a third goal in the contest. With less than a minute to play, Rebecca Britt inserted another penalty corner, and this time it was defending Centennial Conference Defender of the Week Sara Rilatt who scored the goal. Rilatt took the corner and fired a ball into the cage, bringing the Owls back within one. However, Immaculata's insurance goal proved incredibly valuable, as they were able to hang on to the end to claim the 4-3 victory.
Despite the result, tonight's efforts were still an impressive performance by the Owls. The team did not allow Immaculata to record a shot until the 47:08 mark of the game. Combined with their effort against Ramapo, where Bryn Mawr held the Roadrunners shotless the entire game, and the end of Bryn Mawr's win over Cedar Crest, that marks a pretty impressive streak for the Owls. Over that three game stretch, Bryn Mawr held their opponents shotless for a period of 124:05 consecutive minutes, certainly one of the longest such stretches in program history. Bryn Mawr will look rebound from tonight's tough loss when they get back in action on Sunday afternoon. The Owls return to Applebee Field on Sunday for a matchup against New England College, with gametime set for 1:00 PM.