The women’s soccer team’s season came to an end Sunday with a 4-1 loss to Stevens Institute of Technology in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Polar Bears had previously defeated Johns Hopkins 3-2 in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The team ended the season with an overall record of 13-6-1.

“We knew we would have our work cut out for us, but we also felt like we had a reasonable chance to come away with a win. The whole team, I think, really came up in many ways,” said Head Coach Brianne Weaver.

Bowdoin started the first-round game against Hopkins off strong, when a cross from Maggie Godley ’16 was headed into the back of the net by Jamie Hofstetter ’16 in the 20th minute. However, Johns Hopkins evened the score in the 39th minute. Godley, assisted by Hofstetter, found the net once more after the halftime break, only for the Blue Jays to even the score again.
With less than a minute left in regulation, Nikki Wilson ’18 scored her first career goal to put the Polar Bears through to the second round.

“To get a goal in the last minute was one of the most thrilling moments of the season, and it was truly a team effort,” Weaver said. “The goal was beautiful and was the work of [Hofstetter] and [Wilson], but all of the play leading up to that helped to create that opportunity. I don’t know if there have been many more thrilling victories in my coaching career.”

“The whole team stepped up for that game, and it was a lot of great individual performances,” said Assistant Coach Ellery Gould.

The next day, Bowdoin couldn’t stop Stevens Institute’s Raba Nassif, who scored three goals in Bowdoin’s 4-1 loss. Bowdoin was down 3-0 when Wilson scored her second goal in two days in the 55th minute. 

“They were very fast, very physical,” Weaver said. “They pressured us heavily; they had control of the game at the first whistle. I think what we were most proud of is after we went down two goals, we started to settle down a little bit and actually just tried to play our game, and we actually got some good chances. To come back and get a goal against them was a big moral victory. The biggest takeaway for me was that the team kept fighting until the very end even though we were down three goals.”

The team’s season was marked by a major shift halfway through the season. According to Weaver, after starting the season 5-4-1 and losing two games back to back over Fall Break, the team’s attitude changed.  

“The team just came together and said ‘Okay, this is going to be a turning point for us. We’re going to push and give it everything that we’ve got and make a run at the end,” said Weaver.
The Polar Bears won seven games in a row and eight of their last 10. 

“It was the most thrilling end to a season I’ve ever had,” Weaver said.

Weaver credited much of the team’s success to the leadership of the seniors. Hofstetter, who is a captain, led the team with eight goals and eight assists, and captain Bridget McCarthy ’16 finished her career with more time in goal (6049:58 minutes) than any other men’s or women’s goalkeeper in the school’s history.

The team will get a short break, but soon, the players will have to begin to look to the next season.

“Once we come back from winter break, it’s a full go mentality,” said Weaver. “You have nine months to prep for the season. It does take all that time and so much of it happens away from the field prior to August.”