Jeffs Come Up Short Against Bowdoin, 9-8

AMHERST, MA – The 18th-ranked Amherst College women's lacrosse team came out on the losing end of a back-and-forth game against 15th-ranked Bowdoin College, 9-8, this afternoon at Gooding Field. The Lord Jeffs seemingly took command by scoring the first five goals of the second half, but the Polar Bears stormed back with a strong finish. 

Bowdoin's Carolyn Gorajek recorded four goals and an assist, while Elizabeth Clegg scored two goals and assisted on another to lead the Polar bears (4-1, 2-1 NESCAC). Amherst sophomore Marta Randall (Monkton, MD) tallied four goals and an assist to continue her recent scoring tear, but it was not enough for the Lord Jeffs, who fall to 3-2 (1-2 NESCAC).

After goals from Gorajek and Clegg gave the Polar Bears an early 2-0 lead, Amherst first-year goalie MC McClellan (Denver, CO) came up with two big saves to keep the score close. The Lord Jeffs cut the deficit in half when first-year Annelies O'Dea (Pittsford, NY) fed classmate Alex Philie (East Sandwich, MA), who snuck a shot past Bowdoin goalie Tara Connolly. Sophomore Hillary Densen (Summit, NJ) soon evened the score at 2-2 with a quick shot inside the left post. 

Another Gorajek goal and two scores from Katy Dissinger put the Polar Bears ahead, 5-2, with 4:32 to play in the first half. A strong stick save from McClellan denied a late opportunity from point-blank range and Amherst carried a 5-2 deficit into halftime. 

Amherst opened the second half with renewed energy, keeping possession in Bowdoin's end for the opening eight minutes of the period. After a goal from Randall made it 5-3, first-year Elizabeth Ludlow (Huntington, NY) ripped a shot inside the right post to bring the Jeffs within one. 

Randall then went on a scoring rampage, tallying three consecutive goals in a span of nearly 11 minutes to give Amherst a 7-5 advantage. The Jeffs' first three goals of the second half were scored on free position attempts. 

The Amherst lead was short-lived however, as Bowdoin responded with four unanswered scores of their own. After Clegg made it a 7-6 game, Gorajek notched a pair of unassisted goals in a span of 40 seconds. Celeste Swain got into the scoring mix on an assist from Olivia King, giving the visitors a 9-7 lead with 6:56 to play. 

A late goal from senior co-captain Kelley Trapp (Monterey, CA) again cut the Bowdoin lead to one with 39 seconds to play, but Bowdoin won the ensuing draw control and time ran out on the Amherst comeback bid. 

McClellan finished the day with five saves for Amherst, while Connolly turned away four shots for Bowdoin, which held a 21-16 edge in shots. 

The Jeffs will look to rebound on Tuesday when they host Springfield College at 7 p.m., while Bowdoin will host Southern Maine on Wednesday.