Bowdoin tops women’s lacrosse 13-12 in triple OT

Following a six-game win streak, including a 13-8 defeat of Springfield on April 20, women’s lacrosse (9-5, 4-4 in the NESCAC) fell 13-12 to Bowdoin after three overtimes last Saturday at home. The loss places the women in a tie with Middlebury for sixth in the conference ahead of the two teams’ showdown at Middlebury next Friday.

At the start of Saturday’s game with Bowdoin, Williams looked as though it would control the game, as co-captain Whitney Thayer ’10 scored two goals in the game’s first four minutes to give the team an early advantage. The Ephs and Polar Bears then traded two pairs of goals over the next 10 minutes before the visitors scored four consecutive goals – three from free position shots – to take a 6-4 lead with 9:17 to play in the half. Sam Weinstein ’13 was able to pull one back for the Ephs with 7:46 to play on a free position shot of her own, but Bowdoin scored again 10 seconds later, and the 7-5 score held for the rest of the half.

The second 30 minutes started poorly for the Ephs, as the Polar Bears outscored the women 4-1 in the first nine minutes of the half to take a commanding 11-6 lead with 21:02 to play. Williams would not go down without a fight, however. With 20 minutes to play in the game, Meera Sivalingham ’12 started the Eph comeback with an unassisted goal. Weinstein then found her stride, scoring three goals over the next 4:46 to cut the Polar Bear lead to 11-10. Bowdoin netted a goal of its own with 13:52 to go to reopen the lead to two goals, but Weinstein would not let the Ephs quit: The rookie scored two more goals on the half, one with 11:13 remaining and then another with only 44 seconds left to play in the game, tying the score up at 12-12 in stunning fashion to send the teams into overtime.

Unfortunately, the Ephs couldn’t compose their rally through the overtimes. The first two extra periods saw both teams go scoreless before Polar Bear Carolyn Gorajek broke the stalemate, scoring her fourth goal of the game with 1:20 to play in the third overtime to seal the victory for Bowdoin.

On the game, Bowdoin held a 33-29 advantage on shots and a 17-13 advantage on faceoffs, while Williams won 19 groundballs to Bowdoin’s 15 and ended the game with 10 turnovers to Bowdoin’s 12. Eph netminder Julia Schreiber ’11 turned away 10 shots on the day.

“The Bowdoin loss was a frustrating one for all of us,” co-captain Quinn Brueggerman ’10 said when asked to comment on the game. “We played well for most of the game … so the loss was tough, but we still have the NESCAC tournament ahead of us.”

Head Coach Chris Mason was pleased with her team’s effort in spite of the loss. “It’s so common for one team to get a run and then have the other team get a run. We got our run in the beginning and started off well, and then they got a run going that we let go for too long,” she said. “It wasn’t until the end of the game that we turned it on again … [That lack of response] left us short a goal and going into overtime instead of winning.”

Mason stressed that her team played well throughout the game. “When it’s a one-goal game … you’re just always questioning yourself, but in the moment we all did what we thought we could do as well as we could do it,” she said. “We did a good job defensively in the overtime and had a few chances offensively that didn’t turn out for us.”

Saturday’s loss came on the heels of a 13-8 destruction of Springfield at home on April 20. Weinstein and Margie Fulton ’12 led Williams’ attack with five and four goals, respectively. The Pride actually outshot the Ephs on the day, 27-26, and won 21 ground balls to the Ephs’ 15, but Schreiber turned aside 12 of the Pride’s 20 shots on goal to give the women the defensive advantage.

Williams will travel to Vermont on Friday to take on Middlebury at 4:30 p.m. A victory, coupled with losses for Amherst and Colby, which are currently tied for fourth, will give the Ephs a shot at the No. 4 seed in the NESCAC tournament and the right to host a quarterfinal game in the postseason.

“Middlebury is a tough team and they will be very fast and physical,” Brueggerman said. “If we maintain our composure and play at our own tempo we can definitely set the terms of the game and come out with a win.”