WESTMINSTER, Md. - At this point in their season, the Bryn Mawr field hockey team must feel like they are stuck in a bad sequel to the Bill Murray classic "Groundhog Day". For the third straight game, the Owls put themselves in great position to earn their first Centennial Conference victory since 2013, only to fall just short, and in increasingly painful fashion each time. On this evening, the Owls were dominant in the opening half, scoring two goals and flummoxing McDaniel almost the entire time. However, the Green Terror battled back late in the second half to tie the game and ultimately send the contest into overtime. It appeared as if the two sides would need a shootout to decide the contest, but McDaniel delivered an improbable and incredibly unfortunate coup de grâce with less than a minute to play in the second overtime, a pass-shot that caromed off the foot of a Bryn Mawr defender and into the Owls' cage to end the game. Lydia Fisher and Zaynah Moen provided the scoring for Bryn Mawr, while Maggie Titus made seven strong saves in the contest.
McDaniel had the first chances of the game, tallying two shots in the third minute of play. However, the Owls defense did a great job of blocking the first shot, and Titus came up solid with a strong save on the second effort to shut down the Green Terror attack. In fact, that would be the final shot that the Owls would allow in the first half, as it was all Bryn Mawr from there on out. Kelly Bergman would notch the first Bryn Mawr shot of the game just a few minutes later, and that began a period of attack that ultimately led to Bryn Mawr's first goal. After earning a penalty corner, Lydia Fisher inserted the ball in the top of the arc. Emma Hicks received the pass, and she sent a great feed back to Fisher, who fired a shot past McDaniel goalkeeper Paige Ford and into the back of the net, putting Bryn Mawr up 1-0 just 7:31 into the game.
The Owls continued to press their advantage, looking for that first insurance goal, and they found it less than ten minutes later. Zaynah Moen had a shot blocked, but that led to a penalty corner for the Owls. This time Mary Cugini got on the attacking end of the chance, firing a shot of her own, but Ford came up with a strong save on that attempt. The Owls continued to possess and attack, however, and less than two minutes later, Moen would double the Bryn Mawr lead with her team-leading eighth goal of the season.
Bryn Mawr earned two more penalty corners in the half, and got another shot off, but were unable to do any more damage on the scoreboard. That proved costly, as McDaniel came out on fire in the second half. The hosts stepped up their attack and looked to get on the board, and they were able to do just that in the 58th minute. The Green Terror earned four penalty corners and tallied three shots in the first 20 minutes of the frame, and it was on their fourth shot that they got their first goal. Megan Quattrone dribbled down the right side and into the circle, firing a shot past Titus and into the cage to make it a 2-1 game. With that goal, McDaniel smelled blood in the water, and they continued to push numbers forward and seek out the equalizer. They would find it less than four minutes later. The play started with a shot that Titus saved. The ball stayed in play, leading to another McDaniel shot, and again Titus came up with a huge stop. However, once this time the rebound fell to the stick of Quattrone, and she was able to find an angle and fire the ball into the cage and tie the match up at 2-2.
The Owls took a quick timeout following that game-tying goal, and over the final ten minutes of regular time, Bryn Mawr was dominant in search of the game-winner. The Owls hemmed McDaniel in their own end, and over a two-minute span, they earned a penalty corner and fired three shots. However, Mary Cugini and Bailey Turner each had shots saved by Ford, and then Ryann McManus had a shot blocked, and those proved to be the final chances for the Owls, and the teams remained deadlocked when time expired.
In the first overtime frame, Bryn Mawr once again controlled most of the action. The Owls earned a penalty corner midway through that period, and that led to a shot for Samantha Shaw, but Ford stopped that effort. Two minutes later, it was another penalty corner chance for the Owls, this time with McManus getting the shot off. This time, the ball made it past Ford, but a McDaniel defender was right on the post to make a defensive save and keep the game tied. That would be Bryn Mawr's final chance of the first OT, while on the other end, Titus and the rest of the Owls defense did a great job of shutting down two McDaniel shots in the final minute of the frame.
The second overtime saw the back-and-forth, helter-skelter action that defines the seven-on-seven nature of field hockey overtimes come out in full effect. Bryn Mawr opened the frame by earning another penalty corner just two minutes into the period. Fisher got on the end of this one as well, but her effort was saved by Ford. Then it was McDaniel who raced the other way and got a shot of their own, but the dangerous Quattrone saw her effort go just wide. Back on the other end just a couple minutes later, it appeared as if Bryn Mawr might finally sew up one of their biggest victories in some time. McManus had another shot stopped by Ford, but during the play the Owls earned another penalty corner. Fisher inserted the ball, and the Owls ultimately got two great cracks at the game-winner. Both Samantha Shaw and Zaynah Moen had shots, including an effort that came just a few yards away from a seemingly yawning McDaniel cage. However, Ford, who played a spectacular game all evening for the Green Terror, stacked the pads shut and turned away both shots. That led to a breakout for McDaniel, and the hosts went all the way down the field and earned a penalty corner of their own.
With time winding down to less than a minute to play in the overtime, it appeared as if all the Owls had to do was weather this corner and they would go to a shootout and a chance for their first league win in five seasons. Unfortunately, McDaniel had other ideas. The Green Terror inserted the ball up top, and then sent a short pass to the left wing. Who else but Megan Quattrone received the pass, and she looked to send a hard pass-shot down low to a waiting Green Terror attacker at the left post. A Bryn Mawr defender was in between those two players, and before she could react, the ball ricocheted off of her outside foot and took a crazy bounce back across the face of the cage. It sailed past Titus and high into the top right corner of the netting, sparking a raucous McDaniel celebration and cruelly slamming the door on the Owls.
Though tonight's loss will certainly be tough to swallow, Bryn Mawr once again was just a bounce or two away from a big win, showcasing once again the immeasurable amount of progress the Owls have made. They will look to continue the fight when they get back in action this upcoming week. The Owls will return home to Applebee Field to take on Tri-Co rivals Swarthmore on Wednesday afternoon. Gametime for that one is slated for 4:00 PM.