Last week, the women’s lacrosse team added two more victories to their winning streak, which now stands at seven games. The Polar Bears (8-2 NESCAC, 13-2 overall) beat Wesleyan (1-9 NESCAC, 5-10 overall) 17-5 and then Tufts (6-4 NESCAC, 10-5 overall) 11-9 to secure the third seed in the NESCAC tournament. 

The Polar Bears now rank behind first-place Trinity and second-ranked Middlebury. The Polar Bears lost to Trinity earlier this season 11-6 and fell to Middlebury 14-8. The team looks to continue their strong performance in the upcoming NESCAC Championship and earn a shot at the NCAA D-III Tournament.

Grote praised her team’s continued momentum in the match-up against Wesleyan, proving again the strength of her players’ collaborative style.

“[The Wesleyan game] was a great team effort overall. We didn’t expect going in to leave with that kind of score. It was played with such great team chemistry,” said Grote.

The women were precise and focused on details against Wesleyan (4-10, 0-9 NESCAC), working together well.

“We were shooting well,” said Grote. “There were a lot of good connections. It wasn’t just one person scoring—it was everybody scoring. It was nice to see that sort of balance going on on the field for us.”

The team’s defensive squad proved to be the difference.

“Defense was really stepping up and causing great turnovers at just the right time,” added Grote.

In preparation for the final conference game and the last match-up before the postseason, the Polar Bears have been working hard in practice to hone their skills and remain focused on their own style of game play.

“Our main focus is us—making sure that we’re getting better every day. [We’re practicing] going in and starting off playing strong  right from that first whistle and continuing to play together as a team,” said Grote.

Despite the extra intensity in practice, the Polar Bears went down 5-2 to the Jumbos midway through the first half. Clare McLaughlin ’15, Lindsay Picard ’16 and Brooke Bullington ’17 scored back-to-back-to-back goals to tie the game at six going into the intermission. 

The Polar Bears took the lead early in the second half on a Mettler Growney ’17 free position goal and never gave it up.

The team finished with a solid record last year (8-7, 4-6 NESCAC), yet was beaten by Amherst in the quarterfinal of the NESCAC tournament. The Polar Bears did not receive a NCAA D-III tournament bid. 

The team’s strong performance this season could lead to a different outcome in this year’s NESCAC tournament and even a bid to the NCAA tournament.

Despite their exciting prospects, the Polar Bears have refrained from thinking about postseason play.

“We’re really just taking things one step at a time,” said Grote.