|Date and Time:||05/07/2008, 5:00PM|
BRUNSWICK, Maine - Bowdoin senior captain Mike Giordano scored a season-high five goals to lead the Polar Bear men's lacrosse team to a victory in their first-ever NCAA Tournament game Wednesday, 11-5 over visiting Mount Ida College. Bowdoin (12-6) advances to the Second-Round of the Tournament where they will face NESCAC foe Middlebury on Saturday. Gametime and ticket information will be announced on Thursday.
Mount Ida (13-6) got on the board first on Wednesday evening, as Matt Savage's 32nd goal of the season gave the Mustangs the lead at 9:52 of the opening frame. Bowdoin responded with a three-goal run, as a pair of Owen Smith tallies sandwiched a Justin Starr goal to give the hosts a 3-1 advantage.
Mount Ida scored two of the half's final three goals, however, and when leading-scorer Brett Conley found the back of the net with 2:50 remaining in the second quarter, the visitors trailed just 4-3 heading into intermission.
Bowdoin took control of the game in the third quarter thanks to stifling defense and the lethal combination of Harry Ashforth and Giordano. Giordano scored three times in the third quarter, all on drives to net from feeds behind the cage, with Ashforth assisting on a pair. Bowdoin outscored Mount Ida 3-0 in the third period and when Adam Tracy found Giordano for a one-timer early in the fourth quarter that gave the Polar Bears an 8-3 lead with 13:20 remaining.
The Mustangs trimmed the lead to 8-5 with consecutive goals by Dan Harrington and Savage, closing the gap to three goals with 9:26 to play. But Ashforth found Giordano twice more to push the lead back to five goals and a late Matt Legg tally made it an 11-5 final.
Matt Vernik's strong play kept the Mustangs in the game despite a 39-18 Bowdoin advantage in shots. The sophomore goaltender stopped 13 shots for Mount Ida, while Gordon Convery (no saves) and Alex Gluck (two saves) split time in net for Bowdoin.
Giordano (five goals) and Ashforth (four assists) led the Bowdoin offense. Owen Smith and Cullen Winkler each collected a pair of goals. Boomer Repko gathered a team-high five ground balls while Max Key won 14 of 19 face-offs for the Polar Bears.
Mount Ida's Matt Savage led the team with two goals while Tom Watts earned three ground balls. The Mustangs struggled to break out in transition, failing on 12 of 31 clears for the afternoon.
Bowdoin will look to avenge an early-season loss to Middlebury in Saturday's rematch. The Panthers earned a 12-11 overtime win over Bowdoin on March 22 and have won five of six meetings dating back to 2003 - including four overtime contests.
Photos courtesy of Brian Beard and Creative Images Photography.