After two tough losses last week to strong conference opponents, the women’s lacrosse team continued its extended NESCAC stretch on Saturday, April 5 at home against Williams. Williams, ranked 12th in Division III and with a 5-1 record in the NESCAC, posed another tough challenge for the Cards. After this weekend, the team sits in last place in the conference, and the Cardinals face must-win games throughout the rest of their regular season.
Playing with high intensity early on, the Cardinals forced the Ephs to make some early mistakes and opened up the scoring two minutes in when Caty Daniels ’15 netted her ninth goal of the season. After 25 minutes of play, the score was tied 3-3, with two more Wesleyan goals coming from Madeline Coulter ’14 and Meredith Smith ’17.
The Ephs then put together a 7-0 run over the next nine minutes that spanned throughout the end of the first half and the beginning of the second, making the score 10-3. The run was sparked by three yellow cards assessed against the Cardinals in the final three minutes of the first half, triggering a pair of Eph goals with a two-player advantage and another goal with a one-man edge.
Smith scored her team-high 17th goal to stop the bleeding at the 24:45 mark of the second half, but the damage had already been done. Coulter assisted on the Smith goal, giving her a team-high 19 points scored on the season. About a minute later, Abby Wheeler ’17 tacked on her ninth goal of the season to make it 10-5, but three more Williams goals to close out the second half sealed the Ephs’ 13-5 victory.
The Ephs outshot the Cardinals 19-7 in the first half, putting immense pressure on Wesleyan goaltender Nina Labovich ’16, who saved 8 of the 19 first-half shots and came away with 14 total saves in the game.
Defenseman Meghan Kelly ’17 picked up two ground balls in the game, giving her a team-leading 23 for the season, and midfielder Katie Binswanger ’15 forced three turnovers, bringing her season total up to 10, good for second most on the team.
Though their overall record is now 5-6, the Cardinals fell to 0-6 in the NESCAC with the loss to Williams. Bowdoin currently holds the eighth and final conference playoff position with a record of 3-4, which leaves the 11th-place Cardinals with their work cut out for them in their four remaining games. The team will look to get their first NESCAC victory with a contest against Trinity at home on Tuesday, April 8.