Women’s lacrosse eyes playoff berth, prepares for Conn College
April 21, 2023
On Wednesday night, the women’s lacrosse team (5–8; 2–6 NESCAC) defeated Endicott College (8–7) 23–13 in its final home game of the regular season. The win was a refreshing reset for Bowdoin as it aims to find consistency at the end of a turbulent year. The Polar Bears, who currently sit eighth in the conference, will try to secure a NESCAC playoff berth tomorrow afternoon against ninth-ranked Connecticut College (Conn; 5–7; 1–7 NESCAC).
“It’s definitely been a season of highs and lows. We’ve struggled with consistency, and I think we’ve had some difficulty putting together a full 60-minute game,” attacker Colleen McAloon ’23 said. “In our game against Endicott, our biggest focus was on the mental game, making sure that we are staying focused and unified for a full 60 minutes. We were definitely ready to execute on that.”
The Polar Bears also found offensive momentum against Endicott, a tactic the team has been aiming to take advantage of more often.
“Lacrosse is a game of runs. One team will score five straight goals, and the other team will score five. When the other team is on their run, we’ve had difficulty stopping them and coming back from that,” McAloon said. “We were able to pull away in the second half because we were able to remain focused and competitive. That’s something we’ve struggled with before.”
Bowdoin also dominated in ball possession and outshot Endicott 41–22. The Polar Bears went 24–13 in the faceoff circle, with midfielder Emelia Krakora ’24 leading the way with a season-high 12 draw controls.
The Polar Bears are hoping to continue their offensive success as they head into their final two conference games of the year.
“The NESCAC is the most competitive league in DIII lacrosse, and each game could go either way. Every NESCAC game is crucial,” Krakora wrote in an email to the Orient.
The team has struggled with netting goals this season, especially in its games against Wesleyan University (11–2; 6–2 NESCAC), Amherst College (9–3; 5–3 NESCAC) and Trinity College (10–3; 5–3 NESCAC), but attacker Sophia Sudano ’24 remains optimistic. Bowdoin sits seventh in the NESCAC with an average of 12.15 goals per game.
“Some of the results have not gone our way, but our play is still increasing and getting better every time, which is great to see,” Sudano said. “Our team strategy has been more fierce lately. We’re definitely going in with more of a head of steam, trying to be super competitive. You can really see that in practice…. I’m optimistic that everything we’ve been doing in practice will show in our play.”
Regardless of the game’s playoff ramifications, Bowdoin is approaching Conn like it would any conference opponent. The team has spent the week working on more plays and practicing skeleton-attack drills without an active defense in order to develop more offensive chemistry.
“We’ve been seeing a lot more success offensively because we’ve been working on how we should move and how to utilize players to the best of their ability. We’ve been playing to our strengths,” Sudano said.
Defensively, the Polar Bears have been working on pressuring the ball more and having first and second slides ready.
The team also feels confident in its transitions and draw controls. Bowdoin is currently fourth in the NESCAC in draw controls. Sudano commended the defense on its composure during transitions and the attack’s strength on the re-defend.
Heading into this weekend, Bowdoin is hoping to play to its strengths and capitalize on its recent improvements. The Polar Bears defeated Conn 19–5 last season and are on a 15-game winning streak against the Camels that dates back to 2006.
“I’m really excited to see our hard work actually go into action,” Sudano said. “This is one of those games that I think we can just play our game and play like we play and have a great outcome.”
If it makes the NESCAC playoffs, Bowdoin will likely enter as the eighth seed and face undefeated Middlebury College (13–0; 8–0) in the first round. Bowdoin lost 15–9 to Middlebury in March. However, the Polar Bears remain undeterred.
“That first game was a good game for us, and since then, we’ve grown so much in terms of physical play and mental play,” McAloon said. “We’re going to stay relaxed and stay focused. Going into that game with the attitude that we have absolutely nothing to lose will be huge for us.”
Bowdoin will travel to New London, Conn. for its game tomorrow. The team will play its regular season finale on Wednesday against Tufts University (10–3; 6–2 NESCAC) in Medford, Mass.
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