Women's Lacrosse Overwhelms Middlebury, Advances to NESCAC Final

Megan O'Connor and Lindsay Picard combined for six goals in Bowdoin's semifinal win
Megan O'Connor and Lindsay Picard combined for six goals in Bowdoin's semifinal win

HARTFORD, Conn. - The Bowdoin College women's lacrosse team defeated Middlebury for the first time since 1987, advancing to the NESCAC Championship game with a 14-8 win over the Panthers in the semifinals Saturday afternoon at Trinity College.

Bowdoin (15-2) advances to the NESCAC title match for just the second time in program history (2006) and will face Trinity at noon on Sunday for the championship. The Polar Bears are in search of their first-ever conference crown. Middlebury (13-3) is likely to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament when selections are announced on Sunday night. The victory for Bowdoin snaps a string of 32 consecutive losses to their rivals from Vermont.

As it has been all season for the Polar Bears, Bowdoin used a balanced attack to earn the win. Megan O'Connor scored four times while Taylor Wilson added three goals and an assist. Emma Beecher tallied two goals and three assists while Lindsay Picard and Clare McLaughlin also notched a pair of goals. Bridget Instrum scored three goals to lead the Panthers.

Bowdoin never trailed on Saturday, scoring the game's first goal just 1:40 in from Wilson and, after Instrum tied it for the Panthers, the Polar Bears rolled off four straight goals and never looked back. Bowdoin led 8-5 at intermission and then opened the second half on a 5-1 surge, thanks to two goals from O'Connor, to extend their lead to 14-6 with eight minutes to play.

Isabel Sippel was excellent in goal for Bowdoin, making 11 saves and collected two ground balls. Picard and Wilson each had four draw controls and two caused turnovers to lead the Polar Bears. Mettler Growney caused two turnovers and Annie Glenn had a team-high three ground balls. Middlebury was forced to go through three goaltenders with Madeleine Kinker playing the most minutes (42:32) allowing 11 goals and making three saves.