The final Polar Bear field hockey game of the regular season will take place on Friday at 5 p.m. on the familiar turf of Howard F. Ryan Field. The Polar Bears will play fifth-ranked Tufts.

"Tufts plays a unique system that we have not encountered so far this season," said junior Michaela Calnan. "During practice, we have been going over strategies to defend against this system and then turn the break-downs we cause into our advantage."

Last season, the Jumbos stung Bowdoin with its second loss of the 2008 regular season and stole the honors of hosting the NESCAC Championships.

Last Saturday, the Bears fell to the fourth-ranked Trinity 2-1, despite outshooting them 21-3.

Trinity goalkeeper Gina Dinallo accumulated 13 saves in the game and held the powerful Bowdoin offense from surpassing the Bantams' two early goals.

Payson Sword slipped a shot behind Polar Bear netminder, Em Neilson '11, at 10:30 off an assist from Robyn Williams.

Trinity's Carrie Wolcott added insurance to the lead just 15 minutes later. Wolcott collected a pass from Williams and slammed the ball into the back of the net.

Senior co-captain Kara Kelley '10 pocketed the only goal for the Polar Bears at 27:32.

Bowdoin dominated the play in the second half of the contest, pelting the Trinity end with 13 shots and earning six penalty corner opportunities. However, the Polar Bears were unable to convert on any of these scoring chances, and the game ended with the Bantams on top.

Looking ahead to this weekend's game against Tufts, Head Coach Nicky Pearson said, "We are delighted to be home for our last regular season game. Tufts is a very talented team and will surely be ready to play considering the occasion and result the last time we played."

The Tufts offense sits on top of the NESCAC with an average of 3.86 goals per game, led by junior forward Tamara Brown.

Brown has the No. 1 spot in the conference for both goals and points with eight and 19, respectively.

Calnan added, "We have been focusing on increasing our intensity by competing in small games and we have spent a lot of time working on our corner plays so we can make each of those opportunities count against Tufts," Calnan said.

Bowdoin has the No. 2-ranked goals against average in the NESCAC with 0.94 per game and will definitely have its hands full containing Brown and the rest of the Jumbos.

Sophomore Ella Curren leads the Polar Bears with five NESCAC goals and will have to bring the fire to the game on Friday in order to beat the starting goaltender for Tufts, Marianna Zak. Zak has a .840 save percentage, which puts her in third place among NESCAC goalies.