BRUNSWICK— The women’s lacrosse team (3–5; 1–3 NESCAC) suffered a 14–9 non-conference loss to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Engineers (MIT; 8–1) on Wednesday night at Ryan Field. Despite receiving eight yellow cards, Bowdoin outshot MIT 33–25, and attacker Sophia Sudano ’24 led the Polar Bears with four goals. The team feels confident despite the loss and is preparing for a stretch of conference play, which begins with a game against Amherst College (6–1; 2–1 NESCAC) tomorrow afternoon.
“Our defense was incredible, and our attack connected so much better. Our redefend was a lot better. It wasn’t a bad game of lacrosse,” Sudano said.
The Engineers scored their first goal just 47 seconds into the game and took an early three-goal lead. With fewer than four minutes left in the first quarter, defender Maddie Corsetti ’23 forced an MIT turnover, which eventually led to Sudano charging inside the eight meter and earning Bowdoin’s first tally. MIT retaliated one minute later to make the score 4–1.
Midfielder Fiona Bundy ’23 won the next draw control for the Polar Bears and charged down the field. MIT was called for shooting space, and Bundy capitalized on the resulting eight meter shot by seamlessly tucking the ball into the top left corner of the net.
The Polar Bears’ next goal came from midfielder Emelia Krakora ’24 off of a pass from attacker Charlotte Howie ’24. The first quarter ended with MIT leading 4–3.
Bowdoin tied the game less than a minute into the second quarter with a goal from midfielder Ellie Schofield ’24.
“[Head Coach Liz Grote] told us before the game to try to score off the transition and try to get a fast break goal to catch MIT off guard before they settled into their defense, so I took that opportunity when I was coming down the field with momentum,” Schofield said.
The Polar Bears took their first and only lead of the game fewer than two minutes later, when Bundy took a pass at the 30 yard line, stormed inside the eight and scored to make it 5–4.
After Bowdoin got its third yellow card of the game, MIT capitalized on the player-advantage and responded with two goals within one minute of each other. Despite an impressive series of dodges from Howie inside MIT’s eight meter and another goal from Sudano, the Engineers led 9–6 at halftime.
Early in the third quarter, the Polar Bears received another yellow card, giving MIT a two-player advantage for nearly a full two minutes. The Polar Bear defense was able to hold tough and prevent the Engineers from scoring.
“We worked really well together on defense. We were man-down quite a few times. We were even down by two players at one point, and they didn’t get a shot off during that period. I think that speaks to the strength of our defense,” Schofield said.
MIT scored halfway through the third, but Bundy retaliated with a goal of her own. The Engineers led 12–7 at the end of a back-and-forth quarter.
The fourth quarter featured a lot of settled offensive zone time for both teams. First-year defender Hannah Gold had several defensive slides to hold off MIT. The Polar Bears scored a player-down goal halfway through the quarter when Sudano cut in through the right side of the eight meter and blew past three MIT defenders, cutting the Engineer’s lead to 14–8.
With 25 seconds left in the game, attacker Colleen McAloon ’23 slid around the crease and scored Bowdoin’s final goal to bring the final score to 14–9.
Schofield was proud of the way the team played despite the result.
“We did really well on ground balls and with draw controls. We had a composed game without a lot of turnovers,” Schofield said.
Going forward, the Polar Bears will focus on getting more balls in the net and developing a more cohesive transition game.
“MIT had a great goalie, but we’re going to face tough goalies. That’s the reality. We’re getting the opportunities, and we just need to bury them,” Sudano said. “We’re focusing a lot on bearing it all out on attack and keeping our defensive unit cohesive. We’re working a lot on transitions and breaking the other team’s redefend and having more options.”
Six of Bowdoin’s remaining seven games of the season will be against NESCAC teams.
“Going into NESCAC [play], I think we’re more comfortable now. We were able to work on our controllables and take care of the ball. I think a loss is just going to fuel our fire. We have to go into the NESCAC with a full head of steam and with confidence,” Sudano said. “We’ve built the confidence to know that we can beat any team moving forward.”
The Polar Bears will face Amherst tomorrow afternoon at Ryan Field.