After making it to last season's national championship game, the women's lacrosse team has large shoes to fill this year. And by winning four of its first six games this season, the team has shown it has what it takes to live up to these expectations.

Bowdoin got off on the right foot with an 11-6 win against Connecticut College on March 10, and a 22-4 slaughter of Wheaton four days later.

The following week, Bowdoin was put to the test when the team traveled to Amherst before departing to Florida for its spring training trip. Amherst scored early, putting in six goals in the first half. After the initial shock, the women recovered and scored five times. Two of these were scored in the final three minutes of the game, thanks to Katie Herter '12 and Carolyn Gorajek '13.

With little time left in play, the women were defeated 8-5.

"It was a little bump in the road, but it became a learning day for us. We went back to the drawing board," said captain McKenna Teague '12.

Three days later however, the women hit another bump when they went up against Salisbury on their third day in Florida. The undefeated Salisbury Seagulls, who have played nine games already this season, scored the first three goals of the game and 10 more as the game progressed.

Despite the loss, the game proved to be a competitive matchup, as Gorajek led the scoring again with three goals. Bowdoin lost 13-6.

A key game season came two days later when Bowdoin defeated Hamilton 13-11 in overtime.

"Coming off a loss, we were finally able to prove ourselves and work together. That's what helped us come out with a win," said Liv King '14, who scored Bowdoin's 11th goal of the game and has a team-high 19 ground balls on the year.

Accompanying King was first year Taylor Wilson, who had three goals and an assist against Hamilton.

"The coaches and the whole team were extremely proud of her for stepping it up and taking over when we were down," said Teague. "She stepped up to the role we needed her to play for that game and did a wonderful job."

And on Wednesday, Gorajek scored a career-high eight points to propel Bowdoin to a 12-10 victory over Bates. Though the Polar Bears faced an 8-7 deficit with just over 10 minutes left to play, they came back and held on for the win.

The Polar Bears are learning how to deal with the loss of key seniors from last year, including All-American defender Ingrid Oelschlager '11.

"We need to recognize that we're not the same team that we were last year," said Teague. "Our coach reminded us that we had two losses early last year...We can move on now that we've gotten those out of the way."

"As any athlete knows, it takes time to get used to changes on the field," added Teague. "We have a lot of sophomores this year, and a lot more subbing now that we have more depth. That's a huge improvement."

"We have a target on our backs right now, but we need to take it one practice at a time and hold each other accountable for our mistakes," said King. "That's where it starts."