The men's lacrosse team will play at Williams this Saturday for a spot in this season's NESCAC championship tournament and a chance to take home a NESCAC title.

"Clinching a spot in the NESCAC tournament would really bring the season together," said defenseman Matthew Egan '12. "We had a tough beginning and struggled as a team but recently have been able to get the job done."

This past Tuesday, the Polar Bears vaulted into a tie for fifth place with a victory over rival Bates.

Entering the game with identical 4-6 records, the teams met in a crucial matchup with playoff hopes on the line.

"The playoff implications were definitely clear, but even more so, a win would give us a confidence boost," said Egan. "We needed a NESCAC win, and our offense really came together to take this team to the next level."

The first quarter failed to separate the two teams as they finished the opening period tied at three goals apiece.

Despite a consistent advantage in shots, the Polar Bears failed to convert their opportunities into goals, allowing Bates to take control of the game and enter halftime with a two-goal lead.

The third quarter played out much the same way as the first, with the two teams exchanging goals and playing to a 3-3 score, giving Bates a 9-7 advantage entering the game's final quarter.

After three spectacular quarters from Bates' goalie Charlie Kazarian, who finished with a game-high of 16 saves, Bowdoin finally converted on scoring opportunities to climb back in the game.

With just under 10 minutes left in regulation, senior captain Kit Smith found the back of the net to give Bowdoin its first tie since the beginning of the second quarter. 46 seconds later, Keegan Mehlhorn '12 gave the Polar Bears their first lead of the game, one they would not relinquish.

"Our offense really came together to take this team to the next level," said Egan, who finished the game with three ground balls and led another tenacious defensive effort.

Strong defensive play and solid goalkeeping from senior Jake McCampbell, who finished the game with nine saves, kept the Bobcats scoreless in the final period, as Bowdoin closed out an eventual 11-9 victory.

The win improved Bowdoin's record to 5-6 (2-5 NESCAC) and dropped Bates to 4-7 (1-6 NESCAC).

The Polar Bears travel to Williams this weekend, where they will look to build on their two-game winning streak with another conference victory.

"We need to have the same mindset as we did in the Bates game," Egan said. "It's essentially a playoff game and the only option is to win it."