BRYN MAWR, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr field hockey team had the honor of being the first varsity squad in action on Bryn Mawr's inaugural Homecoming earlier Saturday afternoon, and the Owls certainly played up to the billing. Taking on a perennial powerhouse in Ursinus College, the Bryn Mawr squad showed off some incredible resilience and tenacity throughout the contest in front of a raucous crowd of alums and fans. Bryn Mawr frustrated their opponents most of the way through the contest, keeping Ursinus on the back foot at times and constantly pestering the Bears' attacks. At one point the Owls even had a ball in the back of the cage for what looked like an early goal, but unfortunately that tally was called back. Ultimately, Ursinus would walk away 3-0 winners on the day, but not before the Owls put the visitors through the ringer.
It seemed as if Ursinus expected to come into today's contest and breeze through an easy win, and perhaps that feeling continued in the early minutes of today's contest. The Bears earned a penalty corner two minutes in, and that series of possession resulted in three shots, but Bryn Mawr goalkeeper Angela Meng stopped two of the efforts and a third was blocked. The Bears persisted, however, and in the 11th minute of play, Brooke Overly put the visitors on top 1-0 with her 12th goal of the year.
It was maybe at that moment that Ursinus took their foot off the gas, because Bryn Mawr seemed revitalized and ready to retaliate immediately after the opening strike. After weathering a few more Bears shots, Bryn Mawr came back down the field and managed to break into the attacking third. The Owls ultimately worked the ball onto the stick of Kelly Bergman, and the freshman forward made a great cut into the circle. There, she found enough time and space to let loose with a shot that screamed into the back of the cage. However, in a cruel twist, just before getting that shot off Bergman apparently hit the ball with her foot, causing the umpire to whistle the goal off and give the Bears possession going the other way. Bryn Mawr would get another good look at goal a few minutes later, with Leia Robinson getting a shot off, but that effort was blocked. On the other end, Meng and the rest of the Owls completely shut the Ursinus attack down the rest of the half, making several more saves and blocks to keep the score at 1-0 going into halftime.
In the second half, the Owls continued to play impressive defense, again keeping most of Ursinus' attacks coming from sharp angles and far from the cage where they were much less effective. Meng also continued to play well, including a stretch that saw her make three stops in a row on shots close in from the left side. Unfortunately, the Owls were unable to generate any further offense themselves, and the Bears tacked on two late insurance goals to ultimately walk away with a 3-0 win on the afternoon.
Despite the loss, today's effort was a microcosm of what has been a truly impressive season from this Bryn Mawr field hockey team. The Owls battled hard the whole way through their 2017 campaign, one which saw them rack up the most wins the program has seen since 1998 (6). Even better news is that there was not a single senior on this year's squad, meaning that head coach Victor Brady will have a full crop of veteran Owls returning next year, and along with a few members brand new to the flock next fall, this program is set to reach heights not yet seen before.