CORTLAND, N.Y. – The Bowdoin women's lacrosse team mounted a dramatic second-half comeback to down Geneseo State 10-6 and advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals Sunday against SUNY Cortland.
The eighth-ranked Polar Bears (15-3) went on an 8-1 run after a sluggish opening half to stay alive in post-season play. The seventeenth-ranked Knights from Geneseo concluded their season with a final record of 13-6. The Polar will face regional host Cortland tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m. The Red Dragons advanced to the quarterfinals after defeating Adrian 21-2 earlier in the day
Geneseo jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the opening half before the Polar Bear attack was able to solve goalie Julie Bernatzky and the Knights' defense. Katey Hart scored the first goal of the game at 21:30 breaking the stalemate. Meredith Weber netted back-to-back goals, the first coming on a man up possession, to put Geneseo up 3-0 with 9:14 remaining in the half. Caroline Buonocore followed up with a pair of free position goals to round out the Knights first half scoring. Bowdoin finally broke through with its first goal of the game just over a minute after Buonocore's second shot. Jordan Smith netted the ball off a feed from Molly Popolizio with 3:30 remaining in the half.
The Polar Bears came to life in the second half scoring nine times, beginning with Taylor Wilson's unassisted goal just over three minutes into play. Weber followed up with the Knights' final goal of the game at 25:02 before Bowdoin would take control of the game. The Polar Bears rattled off three quick goals in just over one minute of play to pull within a single score. Wilson sparked the rally with a goal at 21:24 coming off the assist from Carolyn Gorajek. Gorajek turned around and netted her first of the game 31 seconds later, before Mackenzie Schleicher scored Bowdoin's fifth.
With Bowdoin still trailing by one, a shot from Geneseo's Hart at point blank range looked like it would disrupt the building momentum, but Bowdoin goalie Tara Connolly made a clean save to keep the Polar Bears within one. Bowdoin tied the game off a free position shot by Jordan Smith at 12:17 and took the lead a short time later as Lindsay Picard scored the go-ahead goal at 9:37. Including Picard's shot, Bowdoin scored four times in the final ten minutes to close out the game 10-6 with goals from Gorajek, Smith, and Betsy Sachs.
The Polar Bears led Geneseo in draw controls (11-7) and outshot the Knights 29-21, including an 18-5 advantage in the second half. Connolly stopped 11 shots between the pipes for Bowdoin. Bernatzky made 10 saves for Geneseo.
Bowdoin will be looking to advance to the NCAA Semifinals for the second time in the last three years.