MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Holding a 7-3 lead at intermission, the Mammoths were unable to hold off a furious comeback effort by the Polar Bears in the second half as the third-seeded Amherst College women's lacrosse team was edged by fourth-seeded Bowdoin, 11-9 Saturday afternoon at Kohn Field in the NESCAC Semifinals.
With the setback, Amherst falls to 15-2 on the season and will await a potential at-large bid to the NCAA Championships, while Bowdoin improves to 13-4 overall and advances to play Middlebury in the NESCAC Finals.
First to strike, Eliza Denious found Hannah Hirschfeld for the score 2:16 into the matchup to give the Polar Bears an early 1-0 lead, however the Mammoths responded with five unanswered goals to take a 5-1 cushion.
Kicking off the Amherst run at the 25:05 mark, Katherine Malone '20 capitalized on a pass from Claire Dunbar '21 before Dunbar logged an unassisted tally 23 seconds later to give the Mammoths their first lead.
Posting three more scores in a three-minute span, Isabelle Sennett '21, Julia Crerend '18 and Hannah Fox '20 each sent unassisted shots over the goal line before Kate Kelly notched Bowdoin's second goal of the day at the 7:11 mark to push the score to 5-2.
The Mammoths scored two goals to the Polar Bear's one to close out the first half, as Leah Ritterband '21 and Fox sandwiched a marker by Bowdoin's Hirschfeld to make it 7-3 Amherst at the break.
Outscoring the Mammoths 8-2 in the second half, the Polar Bears put together a furious comeback bid that featured five unanswered goals to start the final 30 minutes of action.
The lone goal in the first 14 minutes, Natalie Rudin potted an unassisted score 1:25 into the half. Finding the back of the net once again with 15:22 on the clock, Allison Williams connected with Elizabeth Growney for the score before Williams brought the Polar Bears within one with a free position goal 35 seconds later.
Back-to-back scores by Growney gave the Polar Bears their second lead of the battle with 10:47 remaining in regulation, however Crerend put an end to Bowdoin's uncontested run at the 9:23 mark to deadlock the score at 8-8 entering the final stretch.
Undeterred, Bowdoin countered goals by Amanda Anderson with 6:50 and 4:17 to play to take a 10-8 edge before Malone tallied what stood as the Mammoths final goal of the contest at the 2:38 mark. Elizabeth Growney registered the final dagger for Bowdoin in the upset, powering a pass from Natalie Rudin into the nylon with 1:33 remaining to lift Polar Bears to the 11-9 victory.
- In between the pipes, Talia Land '20 (15-2) made 10 saves for Amherst in the losing effort, while Kayli Weiss (13-4) recorded 12 stops for Bowdoin in the win.
- Sabrina Solow '19 posted a team-high five ground balls and caused two turnovers, while Maia Noyes '21 grabbed a contest-leading eight draw controls.
- Both team put 21 shots on target and corralled 11 draw controls, while Bowdoin owned a 22-16 edge in ground balls.
- Amherst finished 21-for-22 on clears and 4-for-7 on free position shots, while the Polar Bears went 20-for-24 on clear opportunities and 3-for-7 on free position attempts.