Score: Wesleyan 14, Bowdoin 7
Records: Wesleyan (9-4, 5-3 NESCAC); Bowdoin (9-4, 5-4 NESCAC)
Location: Middletown, Conn.
Date: Saturday, April 15
Time: 12 p.m.
The Lead: The Wesleyan University women's lacrosse team cruised to a commanding 14-7 win over No. 8 Bowdoin College Saturday, marking its first win against the Polar Bears since 2009. It was also the Cardinals' third win over a top-15 team this season. Prior to the start of the game, Wesleyan honored its seven seniors – Rachel Aronow, Leah Giacalone, Meghan Kelly, Liana Mathias, Grace McCann, Becca Phillips and Meredith Smith.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- It was all Wesleyan in the first 30 minutes of action.
- Smith scored the first goal of the game in just 1:05 of action, and Aronow put the Cardinals ahead by two at the 15:18 mark.
- Following a goal from Kate McAloon of Bowdoin with 13:55 on the clock, Wesleyan responded with a 4-0 run.
- Smith started the streak with an unassisted score at the 12:04 mark, and assisted on the next goal by Caitlin Wood '19 with 10:07 to play.
- Mathias and Aronow scored the final two goals of the half to give the home team a 6-1 advantage at the break.
- The Cardinals' seniors were involved in all six first half goals, as Smith led the way with three points (2g, 1a).
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- Smith scored the first goal of the second half as well to increase Wesleyan's lead to six with 25:30 to play.
- Both teams exchanged goals within the first 10 minutes of the second half to keep it a five-goal game (8-3) with 20:22 on the clock.
- The Cardinals went on a 3-0 run in just over three minutes of action from 15:56-to-12:30 to take a commanding 11-3 lead, essentially putting the game out of reach.
- After a Polar Bear score from Kara Finnerty at the 8:37 mark cut the deficit to seven, Wesleyan scored back-to-back goals from Mathias (7:10) and Wood (5:05) to go ahead 13-4.
- Bowdoin scored three of the next four goals down the stretch, but it was too late as the Cardinals cruised to the 14-7 victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- The seniors played a pivotal role in Saturday's win as Smith led all players with five points on four goals and one assist, and Aronow added three goals and one assist. Mathias scored twice, alongside Wood, and Giacalone recorded a game-high five ground balls. Senior goalie Grace McCann was impressive in net and tied a career-high with 12 saves on 19 shot attempts.
- Bowdoin was led by Finnerty and Hannah Hirschfeld as they each scored two goals and recorded an assist. Finnerty also picked up five ground balls and caused a game-high five turnovers. Kayli Weiss started in net and allowed six goals on 10 shots, while Erin Morrissey played the second half and made four stops on 12 shots.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:
- Saturday's win snapped Wesleyan's seven-game losing streak against the Polar Bears, while marking its largest win over Bowdoin since 1982 when the Cardinals won by nine, 16-5.
- With five wins in NESCAC play, and still two games to go in the conference schedule, Wesleyan has already surpassed its win total in league play from the previous three seasons.
HEAD COACH KIM WILLIAMS:
- "Today our goal was to play inspired and motivated for our senior class, a group that has led in so many ways this year. I thought the team really played well on both sides of the field. Our seniors led the way, setting the tone early and helping us jump out to a strong start. It was a great day for this program, honoring a senior class that has given so much of themselves with a great win against a good Bowdoin team."
- The Cardinals return to action Saturday, April 22 and will head to Medford, Mass. to face Tufts. The game is scheduled to start at 12 p.m.