NEW LONDON, Conn. – Sophomore Sean Smith (Pasadena, Calif.) scored two clutch third quarter goals as the Connecticut College men's lacrosse team defeated Bowdoin by an 8-6 score in the season opener for both schools at Silfen Field on Saturday afternoon.
Bowdoin (0-1, NESCAC 0-1) took a 5-4 lead early in the third when Brett Kujala scored a man-up goal at the 11:17 mark, but the Camels rallied and closed out the frame on a 4-0 run. Smith most notably finished a pass from classmate Maxx Trotsky (Marblehead, Mass.) on a man-up opportunity to break a 5-5 tie and put the hosts up for good with 3:58 on the clock. Senior A.J. Vazquez (Bedford, Mass.) and Smith then added markers with 2:15 on the clock and with five seconds remaining to make it 8-5 and give the Camels breathing room through three quarters of play.
Connecticut College controlled possession for most of the fourth quarter and decided to run down the clock as much as it could. Bowdoin, however, got one extra marker when Kujala found the back of the net to make it 8-6 with 1:38 remaining and won the ensuing faceoff. The visitors nearly sliced the deficit down to one when when Matthew Crowell unleashed a shot with 31 seconds remaining, but junior goalie Jameson Hill (Wilton, Conn.) came up with the key save to keep the visitors at bay.
The Polar Bears got off to a quick start and built up a 2-0 advantage by getting goals with 14:46 and 12:46 on the clock. Connecticut College, however, answered back and took a 3-2 lead at 2:52 when Rutter finished a pass from junior PJ Kelleher (Walpole, Mass.) on a man-up opportunity. Sophomore Jack Rutter (Madison, N.J.) added an unassisted tally with 5:47 left in the second, and the Camels took a 4-3 advantage into the recess.
Kujala led Bowdoin, which by netting a hat trick. Ryan Kenney caused three turnovers, while Jimmy Young scooped up three ground balls. Goalie John Young made six saves between the pipes.
Smith and Rutter scored two goals apiece for Connecticut College, which was outshot by a 43-32 margin. Senior Ben Parens (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) won 10 faceoffs and scooped up five ground balls, while Hill turned away 15 shots in goal.
Connecticut College (1-0, NESCAC 1-0), which snapped a four-game skid against the Polar Bears, will next host Lasell on Tuesday, March 6 at 7:00 p.m.