Bowdoin Bests Men’s Lax 7-5
Wesleyan men’s lacrosse would be undefeated in 2012 if only it weren’t for those pesky NESCAC teams from the state of Maine. A month after their 6-5 loss to Bates and a week after their 11-5 defeat by Colby, the Cardinals fell on their home turf with a score of 7-5 against the Bowdoin Polar Bears for only their third loss of the season. Bowdoin improved to 5-3 in NESCAC play and 9-3, while the Cards dropped to 4-3 in NESCAC and 8-3 overall.
Wesleyan knew Bowdoin would be a worthy competitor coming into the 1 p.m. match on Jackson Field. The Polar Bears have been ranked among the top 20 NCAA Division III lacrosse teams throughout the season, a feat shared by only three other conference competitors: Tufts, Trinity, and Amherst. However, with an overall record of 8-2 and a half-game lead on Bowdoin in the conference standings, Wesleyan had reason to be optimistic.
Things seemed to be going Wesleyan’s way early on, as the team possessed the ball on offense for the first half of the first quarter. However, several times when it seemed a Cardinal goal was imminent, Bowdoin goalie Chris Williamson stepped up and made key saves. The Polar Bears countered successfully for goals at 8:25 and 5:38 and then scored shortly thereafter at 5:17, as the Cardinal defense failed to set up properly following the whistle. Bowdoin added yet another goal with 20 seconds left in the quarter to put Wesleyan down 4-0 heading into the break.
In spite of the early sputter, Wesleyan let cooler heads prevail and returned to form as the rest of the match commenced. Midfielder Quentin DellaFera ’15 put the Cardinals on the board early in the second quarter at 12:48 with a goal from the left side, and midfielder Aidan Daniell ’14 followed at 7:59 with a man-up goal off of an assist from tri-captain Max Landow ’12. However, Bowdoin midfielder Mark Flibotte stepped up and got those back with goals of his own at 2:29 in the second quarter and 12:20 in the third quarter. Wesleyan midfielder Max Rosenman ’13 responded by netting an impressive top-shelf shot from outside on the left at 6:39, but it was Flibotte again at 3:42 to reclaim the scoreboard ground.
The Cardinals enthused the WesFest crowd with a rally in the second half of the fourth quarter, as attackers Graham Macnab ’14 and Matt Prezioso ’15 scored a minute apart at 5:22 and 4:21 off of assists from Daniell and Max Landow, respectively. However, the Polar Bears fended off several more Cardinal attacks from there to preserve their lead at 7-5.
Next up for Wesleyan is a 4 p.m. match on Tuesday, April 17, at Trinity College. Having dropped their last two NESCAC contests, the Cardinals look to regain their conference mojo in the third-to-last game of the regular season. However, Trinity promises to be a hard challenger, as the Bantams currently rank 16th in Division III and lead NESCAC with a 6-1 record.