BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Bowdoin College men's lacrosse team dealt third-ranked Tufts its first NESCAC loss in over a year, taking a 15-9 win in both team's regular season finale Friday
evening at Ryan Field. The Polar Bears (7-6, 4-5 NESCAC) have won four straight entering the NESCAC Tournament that begins on Sunday. Seventh-seeded Bowdoin will travel to second-seeded Amherst while the top-seeded Jumbos (12-2, 8-1 NESCAC) will host eighth-seeded Connecticut College. Both games are at 1:00 p.m.
Bowdoin received a stellar effort from goaltender Jake McCampbell, who stopped 14 shots, including 12 in the second half as the Polar Bears snapped the Jumbos' 10-game NESCAC winning streak. Keegan Mehlhorn scored four goals for Bowdoin while Patrick Lawlor added three. Brendan Hughes sparked the Bowdoin attack by winning 19 of 28 face-offs and contributing a pair of assists. Sean Kirwan led all players with five scores for Tufts, who got 12 saves in net from Patton Watkins.
The Polar Bears never trailed after scoring the first two goals of the game, just seven seconds apart at 13:19 from Mehlhorn and 13:12 from Owen Smith. Tufts was able to draw even with scores to end the first quarter and open the second, but a 6-1 Polar Bear run, with goals from six different scorers, gave Bowdoin the lead for good, 8-3.
Tufts was able to trim the lead to 8-6 at intermission, courtesy of a pair of Kirwan tallies, and drew within a single goal when Kevin McCormick found the back of the net with 13:11 left in the third quarter. Bowdoin responded with a four-goal run, including two goals in the closing moments of the third period to carry a 12-7 lead into the final stanza. Tufts could get no closer than four for the remainder of the contest.
Bowdoin held a 49-36 edge in shots and went 2-4 with the extra man. Tufts went 3-6 in extra-man opportunities. The loss is the first in NESCAC play for the defending Division III champs, who had not lost a league game since April 17, 2010 against Connecticut College. The 15 goals are also the most allowed by the Jumbos since March of 2008.
In a pre-game ceremony, Bowdoin honored its 11-member graduating class that has contributed to 38 victories over the past four seasons.
Photos courtesy of Brian Beard and Creative Images Photography.