This past Saturday, the women’s lacrosse team (7-2, 4-2 NESCAC) fell to No. 1 Trinity (9-1, 5-1 NESCAC) in an 11-6 loss. After much preparation and talk of the matchup against the top ranked Bantams, the Polar Bears could not complete a second half comeback, ultimately conceding the final four goals of the game after chipping the Trinity lead down to one. The loss marked the team’s second straight defeat to a top-five team. 

The Polar Bears returned to action on Wednesday with an 8-7 victory over Bates (5-7, 1-6 NESCAC) and will play Endicott College (6-3, 2-1 TCCC), on Howard F. Ryan Field tomorrow at 4 p.m.

Clare McLaughlin ’15, who scored two goals against the Bantams, described the team’s approach to the match-up last Saturday.

“We went into the game really excited to improve from our loss against Middlebury. It was a low scoring game; we were [behind] 4-2 at halftime,” said McLaughlin.

The Polar Bears continued to fight at the beginning of the second half, but the pace of the game shifted.

“We had a lot of confidence that we were in it and we held it 7-6 for a while,” McLaughlin said. “For us it felt like in the blink of an eye, [the game] went from a 7-6 battle to all of a sudden they’re winning by four.”

Goalie Isabel Sippel ’15 turned away eight shots in the first half to keep her team in the game.
“The game was much closer than the score made it seem… We worked really hard throughout the game to get it to where we were, especially with defense,” Sippel said.

Sippel also said that the Bantams’ momentum allowed them to control the final result.
“[Momentum is] a big part of the game, unfortunately. People are hot at certain moments throughout the game. It’s not concerning, but it’s a lot better when the momentum is going in your direction,” said Sippel.

McLaughlin also remarked on how momentum is a defining characteristic of the sport, which proved on Saturday to be key in Trinity’s win.

“In lacrosse you can still come back from that, but we didn’t respond at the times that we needed to,” said McLaughlin. “We were down by four and the time was ticking.”

McLaughlin also mentioned how lost draw controls and 50/50 balls swung the pendulum in Trinity’s favor.

“Against top-ranked teams, a draw control can mean a game,” McLaughlin said. “When it was our chance to answer those goals, we didn’t capitalize. Passes went out, or we missed shots, or things didn’t quite get executed right. It was kind of tough to see, because it wasn’t like we weren’t getting the opportunities. It was just that we couldn’t quite finish them off.”

The loss against Trinity marked the second game in a row that the Polar Bears fell to an in-conference rival. However, McLaughlin argued that the pattern doesn’t define her team.
“I think it’s okay that we lost two in a row. Our captains said to us in practice today, ‘This is a roadblock—we’ve lost to teams before and still had amazing seasons,’” she said. “It’s almost like this bump is a time to refocus for Bates on Wednesday.” 

The Polar Bears worked hard in practice between the Trinity loss and the Bates matchup to attack draw control and 50/50 balls—it paid off.

McLaughlin said how the team’s morale and togetherness continue to boost its spirit and performance.

“A theme has been, ‘We don’t really have superstars, so we’re going to do this together and for each other. This is fun,’” said McLaughlin. “And that attitude going forward will lead to good things.”

Bowdoin has historically had great success against Endicott, yet the Polar Bears approach this contest with deliberate care.

“I wouldn’t say that [Endicott] is a [Trinity] or a Middlebury…. Rankings don’t really tell the whole story,” McLaughlin said. “A team could just play a style that’s really hard for us to go against. I’m confident that we can go against any style, but it is important that a team that might not have as many wins can still beat a team with a lot more wins.”