MIDDLETOWN, Conn. - In a battle of top-20 squads, the Wesleyan University men's lacrosse team got a late goal from Graham Macnab to take a 11-10 win over Bowdoin on Saturday afternoon.
Wesleyan (10-3, 7-1 NESCAC) has clinched a home game for the upcoming NESCAC tournament and can lock up the top seed with a triumph at Tufts Sat., April 19 in its next game. Bowdoin (9-4, 6-3 NESCAC) has clinched a playoff berth and is in the thick of a battle for a first-round home game. Bowdoin concludes NESCAC action Wed., April 23 at Tufts. Before that, the Polar Bears visit Endicott Sat., April 19.
Wesleyan jumped out to an early 3-0 lead over Bowdoin, only to have the Polar Bears rattle off four straight goals in a span of 4:42 to take a 4-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. Wesleyan scored two of three goals during the second stanza as the teams were tied, 5-5, at intermission. A 3-1 Wesleyan burst in the third period spotted the Cardinals an 8-6 edge heading into the final 15 minutes. When Bowdoin scored four of the first five goals of the fourth quarter, the Polar Bears had their final lead at 10-9 with 7:27 left. That goal came just 14 seconds after Bowdoin had tied the game with faceoff specialist junior Robert Talcott, who won 14 of 25 attempts, feeding senior Will Wise for the 10th Polar Bear tally. Talcott had scored the ninth Bowdoin goal himself just six seconds after Wesleyan had taken a 9-8 lead, winning the faceoff, collaring the grounder and bouncing home a shot.
Wesleyan got the tying goal at 5:51 off the stick of senior Aidan Daniell as he bounced in a hard shot just inside the left post for his 13th goal of the season. Just 1:10 later, Macnab completed his hat trick with his 16th of the year, sending a low shot from 10 feet inside the box.
Wesleyan possessed the ball much of the final four minutes, calling timeout in the Bowdoin end twice. But after the second timeout, Bowdoin defender senior Ben Brewster forced a Wesleyan turnover behind the net and the Polar Bears cleared the ball into the Cardinal zone, calling timeout with :07 remaining. Bowdoin got a final shot off but Wesleyan junior goalie Justin Schick made the save, his sixth of the game, to preserve the win. Laughlin collected eight saves for Bowdoin.
Quentin DellaFera joined Macnab with a hat trick for Wesleyan, upping his seasonal goal total to 24. All three of his markers came in the first half. Posting hat tricks for Bowdoin were leading scorer senior Franklin Reis, giving him 25 goals and 39 points on the year, and freshman Brandon Lee, who came into the game with 10 assists on the season but no goals.
Wesleyan had five penalties in the game while Bowdoin had none. The Cardinal man-down defense did not allow a goal, including killing off a two-man down situation for 30 seconds during the first quarter.