Hamilton Holds Off Bowdoin in NESCAC Women's Lacrosse Quarterfinal

Carolyn Gorajek had four goals in Bowdoin's NESCAC Quarterfinal loss Saturday
Carolyn Gorajek had four goals in Bowdoin's NESCAC Quarterfinal loss Saturday

BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Hamilton College women's lacrosse team built a three-goal lead in the second half and held off Bowdoin 10-9 in a NESCAC Quarterfinal game Saturday afternoon at Ryan Field.

The victory moves the sixth-seeded Continentals (9-7) into the NESCAC semifinals next Saturday at top-seeded Trinity. The Polar Bears (13-3) suffer just their third loss of the season and will await a possible at-large NCAA Tournament berth when selections are announced on Sunday, May 5.

Katie D'Antonio led the way for Hamilton with a three-goal effort while Rachel Friedman pitched in a pair of scores. Bowdoin's Carolyn Gorajek led all players with four goals and an assist.

A pair of early goals from Lindsay Picard gave Bowdoin a 2-1 advantage in the first five minutes of the game, and the hosts extended their lead to 4-2  after consecutive goals from Gorajek and Betsy Sachs less than ten minutes in. The Continentals bounced back quickly to tie the score and D'Antonio and Friedman each found the back of the net twice in a 5-0 run for the visitors that straddled halftime.

With Hamilton carrying a 7-4 advantage with less than 22 minutes to play, Betsy Sachs and Gorajek put home a pair of goals in a span of 63 seconds, only to see the Continentals respond with a pair of goals 75 seconds later in the frame courtesy of D'Antonio and Margaret Gabriel to push the lead back to three goals, 9-6, with 13:29 remaining. Bowdoin again used a two-goal surge to cut the lead to one goal a second time, as Gorajek and Jordan Smith scored to cut the lead to 9-8 with 7:41 to play. But Hamilton responded again with a goal from Hannah Hoar at 3:59. Once more, Bowdoin trimmed the lead to a single goal, 10-9, when Gorajek's final score of the game found the back of the net at 3:17.

Hamilton won the ensuing draw control, but committed a turnover with less than three minutes remaining. Bowdoin made one final push downfield and was able to garner a free-position shot with under two minutes remaining. But Hamilton goaltender Dewi Caswell stopped a point-blank shot from Bowdoin's Lindsay Picard and the Continentals ran out the clock from there.

Hamilton held a 27-19 advantage in shots for the game. Caswell stopped eight shots for Hamilton, who got five draw controls from Hannah Withiam. Bowdoin's Tara Connolly stopped 14 shots for the Polar Bears, who got two goals each from Sachs and Picard. Picard also had a team-best five draw controls.