When Bowdoin College goalie Lan Crofton was pulled during the third period of a 4-1 loss to Hamilton on Sunday, you can bet that her replacement between the pipes, sophomore Beth Findley, was the first to console her after the game.
Crofton, a freshman from Milton, and Findley, a sophomore who hails from Hingham, don’t hide the fact that they compete for the same job. But they have also developed a strong friendship and push each other to bring their game to a higher level.
“They know they are competing for a spot, but they stand up for one another more than anyone else on the team,” said Bowdoin coach Marissa O’Neil.
“On some teams when you have goalies competing all year you can have underlying tensions. That’s not the case here. These girls have each other’s back. They want the team to do well and they understand when they are not picked to play. They have a great relationship.”
Findley, a 2011 graduate of Hingham High, owns a 5-4 record with a 2.16 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage. She was in goal for Bowdoin’s 3-1 win over Hamilton Saturday night, and turned back 27 shots in the Polar Bears’ only shutout of the season, a 1-0 decision over Southern Maine last month.
Crofton is 5-5-3 with a 2.63 GAA and a .902 save percentage. She started the season on a tear, winning five of her first six games.
Although they share similar stats, Findley and Crofton sport different styles between the pipes. Findley, who catches with her right hand, is more of a hybrid goalie who relies on her athleticism. Crofton catches on the left side and is a classic technical goaltender who models her game after Cory Schneider of the New Jersey Devils.
“We definitely have different styles,” said Findley, who led Hingham High School to a Division 1 state title in 2011 before prepping for a season at Loomis-Chaffee in Connecticut.
“Lan is really technical and is a very talented goalie. I’m more like a hybrid-style goalie. We work really well together and we both work really hard. We definitely make the coach’s decision difficult about who is going to play each game. We really want each other to be successful, because we know in the end the team will be successful too.”
Hockey runs in the family for the Findleys. Tom Findley, Beth’s father, is the Hingham High girl’s coach. Beth’s cousin, Martha Findley of Duxbury, played at Cushing Academy and is a freshman forward at St. Anselm.
Both goaltenders said they accept the rotation system that has been in place for much of the season, although it is not uncommon for O’Neil to ride the hot hand for several games.
“They have played a similar number of games,” said O’Neil. “We try to maintain their competitive edge and ride the hot goalie a bit and they’ve both had that opportunity to be the one that the team leans on. Then maybe there is a not so great performance that gives the other one a chance. It’s worked out pretty well for us.”
Crofton spent her freshman and sophomore years at Fontbonne Academy in Milton, where she twice led the Ducks into the Division 2 state finals. She then transferred to Worcester Academy and graduated in 2013.
“I wasn’t sure how much time I’d see as a freshman, but I enjoy how the coach isn’t concerned with what class you are in as long as you are playing well,” she said. “We have a good competitive relationship. We push each other to be the best we can be. Other than that, we are great friends outside the hockey world.”
‘They have played a similar number of games. We try to maintain their competitive edge and ride the hot goalie a bit and they’ve both had that opportunity.’
Bowdoin (10-9-3, 5-6-3 New England Small College Athletic Conference) sits in a tie for fourth place in the conference standings. The Polar Bears finish the season by hosting Amherst Friday and Saturday.
Doherty, Ryan shine for S. New Hampshire
Southern New Hampshire University sophomore basketball forward Erin Doherty (Marshfield) posted her fifth double-double of the season with an 11-point, 10-rebound effort in a 79-58 loss to Stonehill on Saturday. Doherty shot 5 of 9 from the field. She averages 11.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game for the Penmen. Freshman guard Sara Ryan (Quincy) got SNHU off to an early lead in the game by converting a steal into layup in the opening minutes. Ryan finished with nine points and three steals. The 2013 Archbishop Williams graduate averages 8 points a game and leads the team with 42 steals.
Getting a good look
at college players
Saturday night was a special evening for a handful of girls who play with the Grade 6-8 Quincy Youth Basketball League. Ashley Totten, Lindsay Sheridan, Megan Lyons, and RiverBarrett got to play during halftime of the Harvard-Cornell women’s basketball game, and then watched as Kathy Delaney-Smith’s squad won their 21st consecutive game at home. “It gives the kids a chance to see a women’s college game, and they get to stick around afterwards and meet the players,” said QYB coach Dan Totten. Delaney-Smith, who coached at Westwood before Harvard, now has 512 career wins, just two shy of tying Princeton’s Pete Carril for most wins all-time at an Ivy League school.John R. Johnson can be reached at email@example.com