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Strong second half not enough for women's lax

LEWISTON, Maine -- No. 8 nationally ranked Bowdoin shut out the Bates women's lacrosse team in the first half and scored the first seven goals of the game, staying unbeaten this season with an 11-6 NESCAC victory Wednesday night at Garcelon Field.

Carolyn Gorajek scored three goals, raising her team-high total to 18 this season, to go with two assists to pace the Polar Bears (5-0, 4-0 NESCAC). Jordan Smith also scored a hat trick, including the first two scores of the game.

Bates (3-5, 1-4 NESCAC) closed the gap in the second half with five goals in the final 12:33, but not enough to threaten the Polar Bears' lead.

Juniors Bridget Meedzan (Ipswich, Mass.) and Blair Shrewsbury (Boxford, Mass.) scored two goals apiece for the Bobcats, who were buoyed by a superlative performance by first-year goalie Hannah Jeffrey (Greenwich, Conn.), who made 16 saves.

Bowdoin goalie Tara Connolly made six saves in the first 54 minutes of the game, allowing three of Bates' goals. Isabel Sippel played the final six minutes and made two stops. Betsy Sachs caused three of Bates' 25 turnovers and had a game-high four ground balls.

Bowdoin dominated the first half, outshooting Bates 19-6 and building a 6-0 lead at the break. The Polar Bear defense continually stonewalled Bates' attack, leading to 16 Bates turnovers in the period and several transition goals early in the game. Leading 4-0 as the clock went under 7:00, Gorajek scored her second unassisted tally with 6:14 left. Sachs then won the ensuing draw and scored 14 seconds later on a give-and-go pass from Gorajek.

Gorajek opened up the second-half scoring at the 24:10 mark to make it 7-0, before Meedzan got the Bobcats on the board after gathering the rebound from Connolly's save of a shot by sophomore Emma Getsinger (Darien, Conn.).

Bates couldn't build on the score, however, and with 18:45 to go Clare McLaughlin scored the second of Bowdoin's three free-position goals in the game. Lindsay Picard made it 9-1 at the 17:07 mark on the heels of a Bates turnover.

Bates junior Wally Pierce (Weston, Mass.) won the ensuing draw, and with 12:45 to go she caused a turnover and gained possession, starting a Bates fast break that culminated in Shrewsbury's first goal, closing the gap to 9-2. Smith bumped Bowdoin's lead back to eight, but Bates then scored back-to-back man-up goals following Bowdoin yellow cards, first by first-year Moriah Greenstein (Glenmont, N.Y.) on an assist by first-year Cameron Griffin (Hamden, Conn.), and the second on an assertive drive and finish by Meedzan.

Bowdoin's Taylor Wilson scored an 8-meter goal with 3:15 left for an 11-4 Bowdoin lead, but Pierce controlled the next draw and scored 10 seconds after Wilson's tally to make it 11-5.

Pierce again won the next draw and Shrewsbury scored a free-position, man-up goal following another Bowdoin yellow, closing the gap to 11-6 with 1:46 to go. Bates senior Linnea Fulton (Bristol, R.I.) won the next draw, but a subsequent Bates turnover dashed Bates' hopes of narrowing the score further.

Pierce racked up five draw controls, three caused turnovers and three ground balls in addition to her ninth goal of the season in an outstanding performance. Junior SooHee Yoon (Lexington, Mass.) had three draw controls, while junior Cat Dioli (Ipswich, Mass.) and first-year Kara Le (Richboro, Pa.) both caused a pair of Bowdoin turnovers.

The Bobcats will host Williams on Saturday at 12pm. Bowdoin hosts Middlebury at the same time.