GARDEN CITY, N.Y. — Bowdoin’s magical women’s lacrosse season ended one win short of a national title, as Gettysburg College defeated the Polar Bears 16-5 in the NCAA Division III championship game Sunday afternoon.

It’s the first title in program history for the Bullets. Bowdoin was also seeking its first NCAA championship, to go along with the national title won by the field hockey team in the fall. Eight of Bowdoin’s players were also on the field hockey team.

Bowdoin fell behind early against Gettysburg, and unlike Saturday’s semifinal against the College of New Jersey in which the Polar Bears overcame a 3-0 deficit, they were unable to escape a 5-0 hole.

“They came out very aggressively, and we just were never able to recover,” said Bowdoin Coach Liz Grote.

Gettysburg (19-4), appearing in the national title game for the second time, jumped on the Polar Bears (18-4) for five goals in the first eight-and-a-half minutes.

This time, there was no comeback for the Polar Bears, who set a school record for victories and reached the Final Four for the first time.

“I couldn’t be more proud of my kids and how they competed,” said Grote. “They accomplished something that no team in the school’s history ever has.”

Bowdoin got on the board when Carolyn Gorajek scored 10 minutes into the first half, but Gettysburg responded with six straight goals to open an 11-1 lead. Gorajek’s second goal just before halftime made it 11-2.

“They (Gettysburg) played very well today,” said Gorajek. “Obviously, it’s hard right now, but when we look back, we will think about all that we accomplished.”

Bowdoin scored three of the first four goals in the second half to make the score 12-5 but would get no closer, as Gettysburg answered with four straight goals.

Hannah Church led Gettysburg with five goals and three assists. Kelsey Markiewicz and Loren Pruitt chipped in with four and three, respectively.

Church’s five goals gave her a record 26 for the NCAA tournament.

Gorajek and Katy Dissinger paced the Polar Bears with two goals apiece.

“It’s funny, at the beginning of the year, one of our goals as a team was to make it to NCAAs. To make this run and reach the national championship game is amazing. I wish we could have won it all, but it was a great year,” said Gorajek.

“This team was special, and they have put their stamp on this program. They have taken us to new levels, and for that I could not be prouder or happier,” said Grote.

The future looks promising, too, because Dissinger and Ingrid Oelschlager are the only seniors on Bowdoin’s roster.

“I’ll always be proud to say I was a part of this team, and what we did this season,” said Dissinger.


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