MAMARONECK, N.Y. – Middlebury College senior Charlotte Gardiner did not realize the importance of her stroke in the New England Small College Athletic Conference field hockey final until after the game Sunday.
Gardiner, a 2009 Mamaroneck graduate, converted her stroke to even the score and teammate Lauren Green scored right after her, on the fifth and final attempt, sending undefeated Middlebury to a victory over Bowdoin.
The game was even at 2-2 after regulation. In strokes, Gardiner scored on the team’s fourth shot and Greer finished it off, giving Middlebury the 3-2 advantage. Last year, Bowdoin defeated Middlebury in the NESCAC field hockey final.
“When I placed the ball at the 25-yard line, I stuck to my move I have been working on all season and let my adrenaline do the rest,” Gardiner said. “Being able to support my teammates and coaches and execute at a crucial moment was important to me.
“I felt extremely confident in our goalie, Maddie Brooks, as well as all five field players who were going to take the one-one’s. We had worked hard in practice to fine-tune our skills and everyone executed well.”
Gardiner is one of four captains along with Scarsdale alumna and starting defender Margaret Souther. They headline a deep group of Westchester County players including Emily Knapp (Scarsdale), Madeleine Despins (Mamaroneck), Deidre Miller (Rye) and Jillian Green (Chappaqua).
Middlebury’s win was the second this season over Bowdoin, which features Mamaroneck graduate Cathleen Smith as a starting forward. During the regular season, Middlebury prevailed, 2-1.
“Bowdoin, as always, is a formidable opponent,” said Gardiner. She and Smith, a close friend, were prime reasons Mamaroneck won the 2008 Section 1 Class A title.
“I think the fact that we played a 75-minute game, followed by two periods of overtime and then finally a one-on-one period, shows how strong both programs are. It is a lot of fun to play them due to the high level of competition. We may very well meet again in the NCAA tournament.”
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