This weekend, women’s lacrosse (4-8, 1-6 NESCAC) hit the road to take on the Bowdoin Polar Bears (6-7, 2-7 NESCAC) for an important NESCAC tilt. The Battle of Brunswick proved to be more of turf war than anticipated, with constant back and forth play setting the tone for the conference game. The Cardinals have failed to take down the Polar Bears in each meeting since 2009, where a 9-8 squeaker occurred.
Rachel Aronow ’17 started the scoring off with an unassisted goal at 28:27. Bowdoin players Megan O’Connor and Emma Beecher followed Aronow’s goal within the next three minutes, first tying the game and then putting the Polar Bears up 2-1. At 21:02, Meredith Smith ’17 scored an unassisted goal to tie the game back up. The next few minutes saw the sides continuing to play ping pong on the scoreboard, with Bowdoin scoring, then Smith converting again, and Bowdoin answering, all within minutes to bring the home team ahead, 4-3. Wes then went on a three-goal scoring streak started by Aronow, followed by Martha Harding ’16, and completed by Aronow once again. Bowdoin midfielder Beecher and attacker O’Connor knotted the game back up in the final minutes to end the first half at 6-6.
To commence the second half, Bowdoin rallied for a quick goal at 26:08. Aronow picked up her fourth goal of the game to bring the score to a tie at 7-7, but the back and forth was far from over. Natalie Rudin of Bowdoin sunk a shot into the back of the net at 17:03. Smith quickly fired back at 16:04, evening the score back to yet another uncomfortable tie, 8-8. After Smith’s goal, Bowdoin found momentum and struck for three scores. They were mercifully cut off by another unassisted goal from Aronow at 6:54, but the damage had been done and the Polar Bears led 11-9 with only minutes left on the clock.
The Cards were eager for another NESCAC win and wrangled with Bowdoin to the end, as Smith tallied another unassisted goal with just a minute remaining. Unfortunately, the clock hit zero a tad too soon and the Bears were able to record just their second win of the season thus far. Aronow led the Cards with 5 goals for the game. Nina Labovich ’16 stood strong in goal and recorded an impressive 13 saves. Currently, Labovich holds the most saves in the entire NESCAC with 114 compared to Conn College’s 107, Bates’ 95, Tufts’ 92, and Amherst’s 80. Labovich is ranked fourth in the conference with a save percentage of 51 percent.
The stats for the game were as close as the final score. Wes had 31 shots on goal to top Bowdoin’s 30. Both teams had 6 ground balls, but Bowdoin beat out Wes with 15 saves to the Cards’ 13. Bowdoin had one more turnover than Wes and three more draw controls. Goal scorers Beecher and Lindsay Picard from Bowdoin currently hold the first and fifth ranks in shots on goal for the NESCAC.
The Cards have the rest of the week off until Saturday, April 23, where they will face Tufts with home field advantage. The conference skirmish kicks off at noon. Tufts is currently ranked No. 7 in the NESCAC conference, with a 2-5 overall record compared to Wesleyan’s 1-7 season thus far. Despite their record, the Jumbos hold a multitude of top individual performances on the NESCAC stat leaders board. Caroline Ross is ranked fourth with 35 goals so far, fourth with 19 assists, second with 54 points, and third with 68 shots on goal. Brigid Bowser follows Ross in shots on goal with 67. Tufts goalie Audrey Evers is ranked fourth with 92 saves this season so far.
This past weekend Tufts had a close call against Amherst, losing 6-7, while earlier in the season the Cards fell to the Purple and White, 5-10. The Jumbos also lost by a single goal to Hamilton. Wes played Hamilton in the midst of spring break and found themselves far behind when the game concluded with a nine-point deficit. Both the Jumbos and the Cards topped Williams this April, with Tufts taking its matchup 9-5 and the Cards prevailing in a recent 10-9 thriller. Tufts lost by one goal to Conn College a couple weeks back, a team that Wes will go up against on April 27. The Connecticut rivalry will be the last game of the regular season, as April 30 marks the first day of the NESCAC Championships. The next two NESCAC matchups will be pivotal in extending the season for the Cards.