Medford, Mass. - The Bowdoin College men's lacrosse team advanced to the New England Small Colleeg Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Finals with a 10-8 victory against the Trinity College Bantams in the conference semi-finals this afternoon at Tufts University's Bello Field. Trinity falls to 10-6 and will hope for an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament. The No. 17-ranked Bantams were led on Saturday by four goals and an assist from junior attackman Rob Nogueras (Parkland, Fla.). Bowdoin improves to 13-4 will play in its third NESCAC final on Sunday against host Tufts, which was a 13-2 winner over Connecticut College in Saturday's other NESCAC semi-final. Ranked No. 12 nationally, the Polar Bears are seeking their first conference title. Senior goalie Chris Williamson (Winnetka, Ill.) made 21 saves, while classmates Nathan Fritts (Portland, Oregon) and Keegan Mehlhorn (North Berwick, Maine) scored three goals apiece for the Polar Bears.
Bowdoin scored the game's first four goals, including two by Fritts early in the second quarter. Nogueras netted his first as Trinity closed to 4-2, but Mehlhorn scored the second of consecutive Bowdoin goals to give them a 6-2 advantage at intermission. Bowdoin had a 17-8 lead in groundballs at the break. Trinity amped it up in the third quarter with a 15-4 advantage in shots. Two goals by Nogueras pulled them to within 6-4. However, Williamson made 11 saves in the period and sophomore Franklin Reis (Hampton Falls, N.H.) scored late to put Bowdoin up 7-4 heading into the fourth.
Though Trinity got within two goals at 7-5 again early in the final quarter, Bowdoin ran off three straight goals, with two goals and an assist by Mehlhorn, and led, 10-5, with 5:12 remaining in regulation. Trinity scored three times in the final four minutes, but it wasn't enough. Mehlhorn had a four-point game, while Reis scored a pair and assisted another for Bowdoin. Senior Matthew Egan (Newton, Mass.) caused four turnovers and collected four groundballs. Senior Brendan Hughes (Marblehead, Mass.) won nine face-offs for the Bears. Nogueras finished with a game-high five points for Trinity. Sophomore Chase Growney (Berwyn, Pa.) scored twice and junior Nick Shaheen (Williamsburg, Mass.) finished with two assists. Senior defenseman Alex Gottsch (Sparks, Md.) had two caused turnovers and six groundballs. Senior Peter Johnson (Riverside, Conn.) stopped nine shots in goal.