BRUNSWICK, Maine - Lindsay Picard scored three goals and had three assists to lead the Bowdoin College women's lacrosse team to a 12-11 win over Colby in the NESCAC Quarterfinals Saturday at Ryan Field.
The third-seeded Polar Bears (14-2) advance to the semifinals where they will play second-seeded Middlebury next Saturday at Trinity College. The sixth-seeded Mules fall to 10-6 with the loss. Saturday's contest was the latest tightly-played match between the two programs as the last six games have been decided by a single goal dating back to 2011.
Picard also won a game-high five draw controls and had four ground balls in the win for Bowdoin. Mettler Growney and Clare McLaughlin had three goals apiece for the Polar Bears. Colby's Abby Hatch netted a hat trick with an assist while Sasha Fritts also had three goals.
Colby jumped to a 4-2 lead in the opening 14 minutes of play and held a 6-4 advantage following a Kendall Smith goal with 8:45 remaining in the first half. Bowdoin went on a 4-0 run over the final 7:16 of the period, turning a two-goal deficit into a two-goal lead as McLaughlin scored twice, just 25 seconds apart, to give the hosts an 8-6 lead at the break.
Taylor Wilson extended the lead to 9-6 early in the second period for Bowdoin before Colby rolled off the next three goals to deadlock the contest. Hatch buried a free-position shot and Fritts scored consecutive goals to make it 9-9 with 21:21 to play.
McLaughlin answered quickly for Bowdoin, regaining the lead 24 seconds later, and sparked the decisive 3-0 run that proved insurmountable for the Mules. Growney found the back of the net with 15:17 to go and Picard capped the spurt with a breakaway goal with 12:59 remaining to make it 12-9.
Colby made a late bid, getting goals from Sara Miller and Fritts to close the gap to 12-11 with 6:26 to go. Colby won the ensuing draw control but Isabel Sippel stopped Abby Hatch's potential game-tying shot to preserve the one-goal lead. That would be Colby's last shot of the game as the Polar Bears ran out most of the remaining five minutes to clinch the win.
Sippel made seven saves in goal for Bowdoin while Claire Dickson stopped ten for Colby. Sarah Freeman had two caused turnovers and two ground balls for the Bowdoin defense. Colby's defense was led by two caused turnovers and two ground balls from Emilie Klein. Bowdoin held a 31-22 advantage in shots and was able to prevail despite 21 turnovers on the day.
Bowdoin will make its fifth NESCAC semifinal appearance next Saturday against Middlebury. The Polar Bears, who are looking for their first NESCAC title, will be looking to return to the conference title match for the first time since 2006. More information about game times and ticket information will be announced next week.