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Middlebury tops Bowdoin for national championship

2015 Division III Field Hockey

Middlebury celebrates its second field hockey national championship. The Panthers have reached the championship game six times since 1998. PETE EMERSON / NCAA PHOTOS

The Results


Middlebury 1, Bowdoin 0


Middlebury 4, TCNJ 1

Bowdoin 4, Ursinus 2


Megan Keenan, Ursinus

In three matchups this season against top-ranked Bowdoin College, the Middlebury College field hockey team won only once. But the Panthers’ lone victory against the Polar Bears came when it counted most: the Division III national championship game.

On Nov. 22 at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, the third-ranked Middlebury women avenged their only two losses of the season by holding Bowdoin scoreless in the field hockey final. Freshman Grace Jennings scored the game’s lone goal, enough to secure the first national championship for the Middlebury program in 17 years. 

It was the sixth time in program history that the Panthers had advanced to the championship game. They received an at-large bid after losing to Bowdoin, 2-1, in the New England Small College Athletic Conference championship. Then, Middlebury powered through the tournament thanks to a tough defense that allowed just one goal in four games.

Senior Bridget Instrum was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Three of her teammates joined her on the all-tournament team.