GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – Bowdoin's thrilling run in the NCAA Women's Lacrosse Tournament came to a disappointing end on Sunday in the Division III Championship game as the Polar Bears fell 16-5 to Gettysburg. Bowdoin finishes its best season in program history with a record of 18-4. The Bullets win their first NCAA title and finish the year with a record of 19-4.
Dissinger and Carolyn Gorajek had two goals apiece in the loss for the Polar Bears while Connolly made five saves. Liz Clegg had the other Bowdoin score. Hannah Church, the Tournament's Most Outstanding Player, scored a game-high five goals and three assists. Kelsey Markiewicz added four goals and two assist for the Bullets, who also got three goals from Loren Pruitt. Bowdoin had a trio of players named to the All-Tournament team, led by the lone seniors on the team- co-captains Ingrid Oelschlager and Katy Dissinger- as well as goaltender Tara Connolly.
The Bullets raced to an early 5-0 advantage in the first 8:13 as Church sparked the run with two goals and an assist. Bowdoin was able to break into the column with a score from Gorajek at 20:16, spinning around a defender to make it 5-1. Gettysburg answered with a 6-0 run, keyed by two goals from #22, to push the clock into running time with an 11-1 advantage. Gorajek's second goal, a free-position shot with 49 ticks left before halftime cut the margin to 11-2 at the break. Gettysburg's 11 goals were the most scored by a Polar Bear opponent all season.
Bowdoin opened the second half with a 3-1 run, closing to within seven goals, 12-5 on a Dissinger score with 18:42 to go. But the Polar Bears could not withstand the Gettysburg attack, which rolled off four consecutive goals to round out the contest. Gettysburg's 16 goals matched the season-high allowed by Bowdoin.
The Bullets held a 27-19 advantage in shots and 13-10 edge in draw controls. Bowdoin was able to force 16 Gettysburg turnovers, but converted just 2 of 7 free-position shots.
The Polar Bears, who graduate only two seniors- Oelschlager and Dissinger- close out their year with a school-record 18 wins and coach Liz Grote ends the year as the program's winningest coach with 104 wins, breaking the mark of 103 held by long-time coach Sally LaPointe. Bowdoin was making its first-ever appearance at the Division III "Final Four".