BRUNSWICK — Dana Heritage had four goals and four assists as Middlebury took control with five straight goals in the first half and defeated Bowdoin 18-7 in a New England Small College Athletic Conference women’s lacrosse game Saturday.

The Polar Bears (6-4, 4-2 NESCAC), who entered the game on a five-game winning streak, the last an impressive 14-7 road victory over a Colby team that had beaten the Panthers, were trying to end a 26-game losing streak against Middlebury dating back to 1987.

Bowdoin carried play in the early going and went up 1-0 when Katie Herter took a pass from McKenna Teague and carried the ball through the defense before beating goalie Lily Nguyen at 1:12. It was the first of Herter’s five goals.

Margaret Souther scored off a free possession to tie the game, Heritage had an unassisted goal and Chase Delano converted another Souther assist to put the Panthers up, 3-1.

Herter scored to cut the deficit to one, but Heritage answered with two goals around an unassisted score by Michaela Colbert to give Middlebury a 6-2 lead.

“We came into this game hungry,” said Heritage. “We’re always fired up for a NESCAC game and we had lost a couple of tough games to Colby and Bates, so we felt we had a lot to prove.”

Goals by Stephanie Gill and Colbert made it 8-2 at halftime, but Middlebury held just a 15-14 edge in shots. The difference was the Panthers’ ability to convert their chances while Nguyen was frustrating the Polar Bears with a dozen saves.

“I think we were a little tense on offense, dropping some balls and missing some chances we don’t normally miss,” said Bowdoin Coach Liz Grote. “And their goalie made some great saves.”

Delano scored off Heritage’s assist in the first minute of the second half and after Herter responded for Bowdoin, Sally Ryan scored three goals and fed Souther for another as Middlebury opened a 13-3 lead with 21 minutes remaining.

“It’s been an interesting year in the conference with everyone beating everyone else,” said Middlebury Coach Missy Foote, “and we’re trying to find our place. Not that this proves we’ve found our place, but we got some big games from some big people, and (Nguyen) came up big in net.

“We practiced real well this week, and hopefully we can use this as a steppingstone for the rest of the season.”

The teams traded goals in the final 20 minutes, as Herter scored twice and Carolyn Gorajek and Katie Stewart once each for Bowdoin, while Heritage, Delano, Dani DeMarco, Ellen Halle and Colbert scored for Middlebury (5-3, 3-2).