With a 9-8 win against Springfield on Tuesday, the men's lacrosse team extended its winning streak to three games and brought its record to 5-1.

Against Springfield, Billy Bergner '13, Griffin Cardew '14, Tyler Williams '15, Nathan Fritts '12, Mark Flibotte '12, and Brendan Hughes '12 all contributed goals.

Hughes also won 13 of his 18 face-offs, and, with a face-off percentage of .673, he has the best mark in the league.

"He has huge percentages," said Trey Linke '15. "You might not think about it, but face-offs are a key part of the game. If you win face-offs, you basically control the pace of the game, because you have the ball most of the time."

"As long as you're scoring and winning face-offs, you're never really giving the other team a chance to get in the game," he added.

In its previous game, the team beat Hamilton by a score of 13-9. Head Coach Tom McCabe won his 219th game at Bowdoin, moving him into first place in program history in his 22nd and final season at the helm of the program.

The Polar Bears' lone setback this season was a 14-12 loss against rival Amherst.

"That game started out strong, but it faltered in the middle," said Linke. "We started to come back, but it was too late. We had unforced errors: sloppy passing or dropping balls that we shouldn't."

Avoiding these plays, which often lead to turnovers, is one of the most important skills that the team needs to work on, according to McCabe.

"We don't play a full 60 minutes all the time," said Linke. "We need to focus for the whole game."

Thus far, Franklin Reis '14 is leading the team with nine goals, followed closely behind by Flibotte and Keegan Mehlhorn '12 with eight, and Bergner and Patrick Lawlor '13 with seven. Lawlor and Bergner lead the team with eight and seven assists, respectively.

Meanwhile, Hughes is leading the NESCAC with an average of 10 ground balls per game. Chris Williamson '12 has played every minute in goal, and has accumulated 49 saves.

The team has prepared extensively for big games, which has paid off in this season's wins against Springfield, Hamilton, Keene State, Nazareth, and Connecticut College.

"The coaches do a really good job of scouting the other teams," said Linke. "They spend a lot of time in the film room looking at tapes of the other teams and analyzing their plays."

With this information in hand, the team can turn to one of the most effective forms of practice—mimicking the plays of the opposing teams.

This game-situation practice strategy involves Bowdoin's first line of offense running through their plays, while the second line of defense runs through the opposing team's defensive plays, allowing the Polar Bears to practice against the strategies they will most likely be facing in the real game.

Meanwhile, Bowdoin's second line of offense runs through the opposing team's offensive plays, allowing the first line of defense to prepare as well.

This training will give the Polar Bears a fighting chance this weekend. The team plays Middlebury tomorrow and Williams on Sunday, both at home.

"We're a really physical team," said Linke. "We fight for every possession, every ground ball. Our goal is to win games day by day, hopefully make it to the playoffs, and have a good showing there."