The women’s soccer team emerged triumphant from their first conference match of the season last weekend, besting the Wesleyan Cardinals 1-0. On Wednesday, the team silenced Bates 3-0, improving to 3-0-0 (2-0-0 NESCAC).
First year Maggie Godley scored the game-winning goal of the Wesleyan match 30 minutes into the game. Godley managed to tap in a cross from the right wing, fed to her by captain and midfielder Molly Popolizio ’14.
The Polar Bears’ defense fended off Cardinal attacks for the remainder of the game, maintaining the one-goal difference and securing the win.
In the goal, Louise Johnson ’14 stopped two first-half shots, and first year Bridget McCarthy finished strong with five saves in the second half.
The 2-0-0 record is the best start for Bowdoin since 2007. All of this has happened under the direction of a new head coach, Brianne Weaver, formerly the women’s soccer coach at St. Mary’s of Maryland.
Last spring, the Polar Bears’ coach of five years, Maren Rojas, left the team to be closer to her family in Boston, where she accepted a position as an assistant soccer coach at Boston College.
Despite this transition, Weaver is optimistic about her players’ work ethic and ability to take the change in stride. Weaver says that because her players have worked incredibly hard in practice so far, the transition between the two coaches has been surprisingly smooth.
“I think the tough thing is that players have to all of a sudden adjust to new ways of doing things and working,” said Weaver. “What makes them such a good team is that they are patient and willing to learn, accept a new coaching style, and see how things work under my direction,” she added.
Popolizio—who, until this season had only trained under Rojas—has high hopes for Weaver, noting her different approach to the game.
“Coach Bri has a very attack-minded style of play, which we have been focusing on in practice,” said Popolizio. “We have also been focusing on having a positive, forward first touch and being dangerous with the ball as well as always shooting at good angles.”
Reflecting on last year’s season, Popolizio went on to emphasize that the team has grown and will strive to avoid close calls at the end of games this year.
“In order to avoid the numerous overtimes we experienced last year, it is very important to maintain our mental toughness and competitiveness throughout every game as well as the season as a whole,” she said.
On Wednesday, the team took on rival Bates, beating the Bobcats 3-0. Undefeated in all three games so far, the Polar Bears have not allowed a single goal past their net since the season start, outscoring opposition by nine goals.
The win also raised Bowdoin’s record against Bates in their past seven matchups to 6-0-1.
This weekend, the Polar Bears will travel to Brandeis University for a non-conference match on Saturday.