BRUNSWICK, Maine - Bowdoin goaltender Christopher Williamson made 18 saves, including a point-blank stop as time expired, to give the Polar Bear men's lacrosse team a 7-6 win over Middlebury on Saturday afternoon.
20th-ranked Bowdoin improves to 5-2 (3-2 NESCAC) as they deal the 11th-ranked Panthers (6-1, 4-1 NESCAC) their first loss of the season.
Billy Bergner's hat trick paced the Bowdoin offense, while Peter Reuter added a goal and two assists. Will Wise chipped in with a goal and one assist and Maxwell Rosner had two caused turnovers and nabbed a team-best four groundballs. Stew Kerr added two goals and an assist for Middlebury while goalie Nate Gaudio stopped 15 shots.
Bowdoin's Franklin Reis broke a 1-1 tie with :03 on the first quarter clock with a wrap-around tally for a 2-1 lead. After Middlebury's Kerr netted the equalizer at 14:30 in the second on a man-up goal, the Polar Bears scored the final three goals of the half, for a 5-2 lead at the break. Dan Hanley started the run less than a minute after Kerr's tally on a driving move to the crease. Billy Bergner notched his second of the game on a door step feed from Will Wise at 6:35. Wise followed with a man-up goal for the 5-2 advantage.
Middlebury opened the second as Brian Foster won the opening face-off, Kerr then found Sean Carroll for the quick-stick feed at 14:21. Leading 5-3, Bowdoin put two more on the board to close out the third, including Bergner's hat-trick tally at 7:19, for a 7-3 lead.
In the fourth, Middlebury strung a trio of goals together, closing the gap to 7-6 as Kerr got it started at 12:53 off a feed from Carroll. Less than two minutes later, Mike Giordano put a wrap-around past William for a 7-5 game. At 2:08, Bowdoin called a timeout to set their defense after the ball went out of play during a Panther possession. Fifteen seconds later, Middlebury's Scott Redmond's sweeping move and goal made it a 7-6 game with 1:53 left to play.
Bowdoin won the ensuing face-off and controlled the clock, but an errant pass resulted in a turnover with :28 left to play. Middlebury pushed the ball into their offensive end, launched a wide shot, but maintained possession. In the final seconds, Broome had the ball in the low slot, just a few feet from Williamson's left side, but the on-target shot was stopped by Williamson as time expired.
The Polar Bears will return to action at Williams on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.