BRYN MAWR, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr field hockey team almost made more history on Saturday afternoon on Applebee Field. On a gorgeous fall afternoon and admist the joy of the Homecoming 2018 celebrations on campus, the Owls got to work against a Bullets squad they have never beaten, and nearly pulled off a stunner. Bryn Mawr carried the play at times in today's white-knuckle thriller, and some very impressive defense helped keep the Bullets off the board. With neither side able to find a goal, the game headed into overtime, and then double OT, but finally Gettysburg broke through with the game-winner just 4:32 away from a shootout. The Owls had several very close chances along the way, but just could not get the ball across the goal line. Maggie Titus made three saves for the Owls in the tough loss.
The game started out as a tensely played affair in front of a roaring Homecoming crowd, and it stayed that way the entire way through. Both sides probed for an advantage early on, but strong midfield and defensive work meant the first chance for either side did not come until 20 minutes into the game. That first opportunity came as a Bryn Mawr penalty corner, but Gettysburg buckled down and cleared that chance, and then immediately went and earned a corner of their own. The Owls responded in kind, clearing that effort away, and the two sides continued to battle things out in the midfield. Gettysburg would get the first shot of the game just a few minutes later off of another series of penalty corners, but Titus kept the pads together and stopped the effort, and the Owls eventually broke back into the offensive end. There, it was Bryn Mawr's turn to get a crack at the cage, but Zaynah Moen's shot was saved by Gettysburg's Jillian Caputo. With less than a minute remaining in the half, Gettysburg had one more good look at the cage after a penalty corner, with Julia Soares sending a lofted shot from just a few yards out onto goal. However, Titus showed some great dexterity, getting her right mitt up and swatting the ball away from danger. With that, the horn sounded on the half, and the two teams headed to the break still deadlocked at 0-0.
Gettysburg immediately got on the offensive in the second half, earning a penalty corner which led to a shot just three minutes in. However, that effort was blocked, and Bryn Mawr ultimately cleared the ball away once again. However, this second half would be controlled more by the Bullets, as the visitors tallied five penalty corners and two shots in the frame, while at the same time keeping Bryn Mawr penned in their own end or in the midfield much of the time. The Owls were unable to register a shot or a corner in the half, but still, thanks to strong overall play by the entire squad and excellent defending, the two sides once again remained scoreless in the half, sending the teams to sudden victory overtime.
With the situation magnified even further, the Homecoming crowd was now in a frenzy, seeking to push the Owls over the edge towards what would be their first ever win over Gettysburg. After seeing a Gettysburg shot go wide in the first part of the first overtime, Bryn Mawr had the best looks of the latter half of that frame. Both Emma Hicks and Samantha Shaw had shots on goal, but Caputo continued to stand strong for the Bullets and saved both efforts. Then, in the second overtime, the Owls earned a penalty corner and got what would be their best chance of the extra periods. The ball ultimately ended up on the stick of Mary Cugini, and the junior co-captain managed to get a shot off from down near the endline, at a bad angle. It seemed as if it might have a chance to sneak inside the post, but her effort went just wide, giving Gettysburg a reprieve.
Unfortunately, that would prove to be the final chance for the Owls. With just 4:32 left to play in the second overtime, the Bullets broke downfield and got the ball into the offensive zone. There, Julia Soares took a pass from Henna Fraiman and slotted the ball past Titus and into the back of the cage.
Despite the heartbreaking final ending, today's result was just another positive step for the Owls as they continue to build themselves into a program that nobody wants to play. They are now 0-3 in Centennial Conference play this season, but every league opponent has barely escaped the Owls' clutches so far, and it appears to be only a matter of time before Bryn Mawr starts collecting a few conference pelts. They will get their next crack at it on Wednesday afternoon with another league home game. The Owls will welcome Muhlenberg to campus on October 3rd for a 4:00 PM faceoff with the Mules on Applebee Field.