Bowdoin keeps beating the unbeaten
Notes: How North Carolina beat Virginia for the third time
When Trinity (Conn.) and Bowdoin met on March 19 for the Polar Bears’ first home NESCAC game of the season at Howard Ryan Field, the Bantams stormed out of the gates, jumped out to an early lead, and handed Bowdoin its first loss of the season in front of a home crowd in Brunswick, Maine.
It took nearly two months, but the Polar Bears finally managed to return the favor.
Carolyn Gorajek and Katy Dissinger scored three goals apiece, Tara Connolly made 10 saves, and the Polar Bears stunned the undefeated Bantams with a 9-6 victory, ending Trinity’s season and moving on to the semifinals of the NCAA Division III Women’s Lacrosse Championship.
Where the teams’ first meeting was marked by an 8-1 Trinity run to open the game and the chasing of Bowdoin goalkeeper Alexandra Brown, in the rematch, it was the Polar Bears’ turn to get off to a fast start. Bowdoin scored five of the game’s first seven goals, dispatching Bantams goalkeeper Olivia Whitney after she allowed those goals. Gina Dinallo relieved her Whitney, and fared slightly better, stopping five of the nine shots she faced, but the damage had been done. Meanwhile, Connolly, who had stopped 10 of 14 shots in a relief effort in the first game, got to go wire-to-wire this time around, and stopped 10 of the 16 shots she faced.
The Polar Bears’ success against a previously unbeaten team could be an important confidence builder heading into Saturday’s first semifinal. After vanquishing one of the two teams that entered the tournament undefeated, Bowdoin is now matched with the other, scheduled to face The College of New Jersey on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Motamed Field in Garden City, N.Y.
Need to Know
• The set of circumstances that led to undefeated Albany playing its first-round NCAA tournament game on the road turned a few heads, but the Great Danes kept theirs focused decidedly on the task at hand as they traveled to Hanover, N.H. to face Dartmouth. Playing a team that hadn’t lost at home all season and had handed reigning NCAA Champion Maryland its first loss of the season in its last game at Scully-Fahey Field, Albany fell behind 3-0 early in the game, but bounced back to bounce the Big Green, leaving Hanover with a 10-7 win behind three goals from Jodi Battaglia and nine saves from Anna Berman. The Great Danes will hope their road success can continue when they face their biggest challenge of the season, facing No. 2 Northwestern on Saturday in Evanston, Ill.
• Lock Haven earned the right to host its NCAA Division II quarterfinal game against PSAC rival West Chester, presumably in part because of the Lady Eagles’ win over the Golden Rams in the conference championship on April 30. The problem, from Lock Haven’s perspective, is that neither of the previous games between the two teams had been won by the home time. That trend continued on Saturday, as the Golden Rams got two goals apiece from Jackie Hoover, Claire Grimwood and Erin Oczkowski en route to a 9-8 win. Nicole Pyle scored the eventual game-winner with 5:31 remaining in the game, sending the Golden Rams on to the national semifinal for the ninth time in 11 years. West Chester will face Limestone, a 16-10 winner over the Golden Rams back in March, in the second semifinal game on Saturday at Motamed Field.
• Bowdoin isn’t the only surprise participant in this week’s D-III Championship. After falling to Salisbury in the NCAA tournament in each of the last two seasons, Gettysburg finally broke through, scoring a 14-13 win over the defending NCAA Champions at Sea Gull Stadium in Salisbury, Maryland. Hannah Church scored six goals for the Bullets, including the eventual game-winner with just over 10 minutes to play. That goal made it 14-10 Gettysburg, and while the Sea Gulls mounted a furious comeback attempt in the final minutes, Gettysburg was able to hold on for the win. Next, the Bullets will attempt to hang just the second loss of the season on Cortland State.
• The first round of the Division I tournament wasn’t much for upsets, but the one unseeded team to win in the first round did pick up a measure of revenge to go along with its trip to the second round. Charlotte Davis’ hat trick led a Princeton offense that scored as many goals in the first 21 minutes as it did all day on March 16, and the Tigers avenged that 10-5 loss with an 11-10 victory, earning the right to face top seeded Maryland on Saturday for a spot in the Division I semifinals.
• Division II semifinalist LeMoyne has lost to just one team all season: Adelphi, owner of an 11-9 regular-season victory over the Dolphins on March 23 and a 17-11 win in the Northeast-10 Championship game on May 8. LeMoyne will get one more crack at the Panthers on Saturday in the first game of the day at Motamed Field.
• The College of New Jersey heads to Garden City for the NCAA Division III Championship with its two most prolific offensive performers of all time looking to close out their careers with a championship. Senior Alison Jaeger, the Lions’ all-time leader in goals and points, scored her 100th point of the season in the Lions’ second-round win over Catholic University, joining teammate Leigh Mitchell, TCNJ’s all-time assists leader, as the only two players in school history with two 100-point seasons.
• Tournament results in recent weeks have shown how hard it is to beat a team multiple times in a season, but North Carolina appears to have it figured out. After beating Virginia 8-7 during the regular season and 16-5 in the ACC tournament, the No. 3 seed Tar Heels claimed a 15-7 victory over the Cavaliers in the first round of the Division I tournament, moving on to face sixth seed Loyola on Saturday at 1 p.m.