Men's Lacrosse Loses Overtime Heartbreaker to Wesleyan in NESCAC Quarters

Billy Bergner had two goals and three assists against Wesleyan on Saturday
Billy Bergner had two goals and three assists against Wesleyan on Saturday

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. - Quentin DellaFera scored the game-winning goal with 1:21 remaining in overtime to lift the Wesleyan University men's lacrosse team to a 8-7 win over Bowdoin in the NESCAC Quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon.

The loss ends the season for the fifth-seeded Polar Bears, who conclude their year with a record of 8-7. Fourth-seeded Wesleyan (12-4) advances to the NESCAC semifinals to face top-seeded Middlebury next weekend in Vermont. 

Billy Bergner led the way for Bowdoin with two goals and three assists. Franklin Reis had three goals and an assist as well for the Polar Bears. Dellafera and Mike Giambanco had three goals each for the Cardinals.

After Wesleyan took a 2-1 lead early in the opening quarter, the Polar Bears stormed ahead with a 5-1 surge before halftime. Reis scored all three of his goals in the run that gave Bowdoin a 6-3 edge at intermission and forced the Cardinals to change goaltenders.

Wesleyan responded by holding Bowdoin scoreless for the opening 19:24 of the second half. The Cardinals scored three times - two from Giambanco - in the third quarter to tie the score. Bowdoin regained the lead thanks to Peter Reuter's goal with 5:36 left in regulation, but Wesleyan tied it 1:20 later when David Murphy tallied to send the game to extra time.

The teams traded possessions in overtime until Dellaferra put home the game-winner. He took control on the left side of the cage and ran across the Bowdoin defense to score with 1:21 left in the session.

Christopher Williamson stopped 15 shots for Bowdoin. Mark Simmons (one save, seven goals allowed) and JD Dieterich (six saves, one goal allowed) split time for Wesleyan. The Cardinals held a 41-20 edge in shots and a 14-5 lead in faceoffs for the game. Bowdoin committed a costly 22 turnovers compared to 14 for Wesleyan.