BALTIMORE, Md. - The Bryn Mawr field hockey team traveled down to Maryland earlier Saturday for their first Centennial Conference contest of the season. After starting 2017 with an impressive 4-1 record, the Owls faced their biggest test so far by taking on Division III powerhouse Johns Hopkins. Bryn Mawr certainly acquitted themselves well throughout the game, as their solid defense and strong team play gave the Blue Jays fits at times. However, ultimately the hosts were able to break through the back line a few times, and that allowed Johns Hopkins to come away with a 7-0 win on the day. Angela Meng and Logan Wallace Wood both had solid days in the cage for the Owls, as the duo combined to make 11 saves on the afternoon. Hopkins was led by forward Claire Kavanagh, who posted a hat-trick to lead the attack for the hosts.
Johns Hopkins had the best early chances, with the Blue Jays earning a penalty corner and two shots inside the first five minutes of play. However, Meng and the Bryn Mawr defense stepped up to the plate big time against those chances, with a save and a block helping keep Johns Hopkins off the board. Then, it was the Owls' turn to grab an offensive opportunity on the counterattack. Bryn Mawr was able to work the ball up the field, and ultimately it made its way to the stick of Leia Robinson. The freshman fired a shot towards the goal, but this time it was a Blue Jays defender who managed to get in the way of the effort and keep the ball from making it to the cage.
Unfortunately for the Owls, Johns Hopkins would tally the game's opening goal immediately after that chance. The Blue Jays came right back the other way, and within 40 seconds of that shot, Johns Hopkins held a 1-0 lead thanks to Morgan Pothast putting home a rebound from a blocked shot in front. After that initial goal, Johns Hopkins really dialed up the pressure, keeping the ball in the offensive zone and holding Bryn Mawr shotless through the rest of the half. Ultimately, the Blue Jays took a three goal lead to the halftime break thanks to scores from Princess Sutherland and Francesca Cali.
Bryn Mawr brought in Wood for the second half to get the first-year keeper a taste of Centennial Conference action and to help get Meng a breather. Wood was called upon early and often in her first minutes of duty, and the Virginia native really showed some impressive skills during her 35 minutes of action. Right out of the gate, Wood made two very solid saves on back-to-back shots after a Hopkins penalty corner. Later on in the half, Wood made another great stop on a shot by the Blue Jays' Claire Fox. Unfortunately, Johns Hopkins managed to score four more goals despite Wood and the Owls defense's best efforts. Bryn Mawr's best offensive chance of the second half came in the 51st minute, when the Owls earned their first and only penalty corner of the match. On the resulting play, Sara Rilatt nailed a hard shot towards the cage, but that effort was also blocked by a Blue Jays defender, as the hosts held Bryn Mawr without a shot on goal in the game.
Despite the loss, the Owls take plenty of positives away from the match, perhaps the biggest being that Bryn Mawr was able to get almost all of their first-year players some valuable experience in a tough Centennial Conference game. That experience will hopefully pay some big dividends down the road for the Owls as their Centennial Conference season carries on. Bryn Mawr will return to Applebee Field for their next contest, a big matchup with Washington College. That game will take place Wednesday, September 20th on the Bryn Mawr campus, with gametime set for 4:00 PM.