Wesleyan vs. Bowdoin
May 3, 2008
The Game Story:
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - Bowdoin held off Wesleyan's furious fourth quarter comeback, beating the Cardinals 11-9 in the second semifinal game held at Middlebury College on Saturday afternoon. The Polar Bears will take on Williams, an 11-10 upset winner over Middlebury, in the NESCAC Championship game at noon on Sunday.

Wesleyan took their only lead of the game when Chris Jasinski scored at the 9:21 mark of the first quarter. Bowdoin went on a four goal run, highlighted by a pair of man-up goals in the second. Eric Thompson's goal off an assist by Adam Tracy gave the Polar Bears a 3-1 lead with 10:23 remaining. Tracy followed up with his man-up goal, collecting a ground ball in front of the cage and ripped a shot past staring goalie Mike Borrero.

Grayson Connors answered for Wesleyan, scoring his first of his game-high four goals at the 6:21 mark, cutting Bowdoin's lead to 4-2. Owen Smith responded with 39 seconds left in the half scoring from 15 yards out for a 5-2 lead at intermission.

The Polar Bears kept the pressure on in the third, scoring the next four goals, including a pair of goals by Mike Giordano, building a 9-2 advantage.

After being held scoreless for 23:02, Wesleyan found its stride in the fourth going on a 7-1 run, erasing Bowdoin's seemingly comfortable 9-2 lead. Jason Ben-Eliyahu's goal ended the drought at the 13:19 mark. The Cardinals added three more goals, including a man-down tally by Connors before Bowdoin answered with a goal with 6:57 remaining. Wesleyan's improbable comeback continued with three goals in just 1:16, including Gabe Kelly's tally at the 4:34 mark, cutting the Polar Bear lead to 10-9. Bowdoin finally got a bit of breathing room in the final minute with an open net goal by Cullen Winkler with 39 seconds left in the game to preserve the victory.

Smith and Mike Giordano each had two goals for Bowdoin and Tracy added a goal and two assists. Connor's four goals led five other Cardinals who each scored once, while Russ Follansbee added four assists. Gordon Convery played the first half in net for the Polar Bears, stopping four shots and allowing two goals, while Alex Gluck handled the second, giving up seven goals and making nine saves. Borrero played the first 42:13 for Wesleyan, making 10 saves and allowing nine goals, while Campbell gave up a pair of goals and made two saves in the final 17:47.