Bear Claws: Bowdoin Topples Trinity
from press release
HARTFORD, Conn. - The Bowdoin College women's lacrosse team has earned its first trip to the NCAA Division III final four. The Polar Bears (17-3) dealt second-ranked Trinity (18-1) its first loss of the season in the regional finals of the NCAA tournament on Sunday, 9-6, giving 11th-ranked Bowdoin a trip to the national semifinals next Saturday at Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y.
The Polar Bears will face top-ranked and undefeated The College of New Jersey (20-0) in the first semifinal game at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 21.
The winner will play in the national championship game on Sunday, May 22 at 3:00 p.m. against the winner of the second semifinal between Cortland State and Gettysburg.
Bowdoin, which was making its third regional final appearance, was led by three goals apiece from Carolyn Gorajek and Katy Dissinger.
Sophomore goalkeeper Tara Connolly stopped 10 shots in what was likely the biggest win in school history.
Trinity sophomore midfielder Megan Leonhard opened the scoring on a free position 5:13 into the game, but Bowdoin erupted for four straight goals in a four-minute span and maintained at least a two-goal cushion for the majority of the first half.
Three of the Bowdoin goals during the streak came on free-position shots, including the first by junior attacker Liz Clegg at the 22:47 mark and the last by Clegg with 18:49 on the clock. Leonhard ended the run with an unassisted tally with 17:15 left in the first half, but Dissinger answered less than a minute later to push the Bowdoin lead back up to three at 5-2.
Katy Dissinger scored three goals, helping Bowdoin pull away from top-seeded Trinity in the regional final.
© Brian Beard
Neither team scored for nearly 10 minutes, although a Bantam goal by sophomore attacker Hadley Duncan was nullified due to a charge call and Connolly made a key save against Trinity senior co-captain midfielder Alisen Urquhart, stopping the shot and picking up the ball on a roll just before it crossed the goal line.
Urquhart intercepted a pass during a Bowdoin clear attempt and raced down the field to score Trinity's third goal with 6:34 remaining before the break, and Leonhard beat Connolly with a nice feed while running from right to left in front of the crease off a pass by junior midfielder Liz Bruno to cut the lead to 5-4 just before intermission.
Trinity junior goalie Gina Dinallo made three saves late in the first stanza, after relieving sophomore Olivia Whitney following Bowdoin's fifth goal.
Gorajek and junior midfielder Katie Herter scored for Bowdoin and Leonhard notched her fourth and fifth goals of the game over the opening seven minutes of the second half, making the score, 7-6, with 23:13 left to play. Gorajek completed her hat trick with just under 21 minutes on the clock, while Connolly stymied a close shot by Bruno, and both Urquhart and Shea Kusiak each saw shot carom off the post over the next 10 minutes for the Bantams.
Dissinger gave Bowdoin a 9-6 advantage at the 6:43 mark, eluding several Bantam defenders on her way from the top of the arc to the right wing before shooting high past Dinallo. Connolly stopped Leonhard on a high shot from point-blank range and saved a free-position attempt by Trinity senior co-captain attacker Rachel Romanowsky at the 1:27 mark to help keep the Bantams off the board for the final 23:13 of the game.
Gorajek added an assist to total a team-high four points, while Connolly added three ground balls to her 10 saves.
Bantam first-year Lyndsey Shepard picked up a game-high four ground balls, and Dinallo and Whitney totaled six saves between them.
The women's lacrosse team is the fifth Bowdoin program to make a "Final Four" and third Polar Bear team this academic year to earn a national semifinal appearance along with field hockey (national champions) and men's soccer (national semifinalists). Liz Grote's squad joins the Bowdoin women's ice hockey (2002, '03), women's basketball (2004), field hockey (2005-'08, '10) and men's soccer (2010) teams with the accomplishment.