MEDFORD, Mass. - The Bowdoin College men's lacrosse team advanced to the NESCAC final with a 10-8 victory against Trinity College in the conference semi-finals on Saturday at Tufts University's Bello Field.
Goalie Chris Williamson made 21 saves, while classmates Nathan Fritts and Keegan Mehlhorn scored three goals apiece for the Polar Bears.
Bowdoin (13-4) will play in its third NESCAC final on Sunday at noon against host Tufts, which was a 13-2 winner over Connecticut College in Saturday's other NESCAC semi-final. Ranked 12th nationally, the Polar Bears are seeking their first conference title in their third trip to the finals.
Trinity (10-6) will hope for an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament. The #17 Bantams were led on Saturday by four goals and an assist from junior Rob Nogueras.
The Polar Bears scored the game's first four goals, including two by Fritts early in the second quarter. Nogueras netted his first as Trinity closed to 4-2, but Mehlhorn scored the second of consecutive Bowdoin goals to give them a 6-2 advantage at intermission. Bowdoin had a 17-8 lead in groundballs at the break.
Trinity amped it up in the third quarter with a 15-4 advantage in shots. Two goals by Nogueras pulled them to within 6-4. However, Williamson made 11 saves in the period and sophomore Franklin Reis scored late to put Bowdoin up 7-4 heading into the fourth.
Though Trinity got within two goals (7-5) again early in the final quarter, Bowdoin ran off three straight goals - with two goals and an assist by Mehlhorn - and led 10-5 with 5:12 remaining in regulation. Trinity scored three times in the final four minutes, but it wasn't enough.
Mehlhorn had a four-point game, while Reis scored a pair and assisted another for Bowdoin. Senior Matthew Egan was also sensational on defense, causing four turnovers and collecting four groundballs. Senior Brendan Hughes won nine face-offs for the Bears.
Nogueras finished with a game-high five points for Trinity. Sophomore Chase Growney scored twice and junior Nick Shaheen finished with two assists.
Fans can follow Sunday's NESCAC title game via video webcast (http://www.jumbocast.com)