In women's rugby this Homecoming Weekend, the Polar Bears will seek to claim the crown as the top bears in Maine when they face-off against the Black Bears of the University of Maine-Orono (UMO).

"They [UMO] have got some good talent and some good coaching," said coach MaryBeth Mathews.

"They have the same record as us," added assistant coach Bob Mathews. "They are a beatable team and it should be a good match."

The game, which will be at 1 p.m. on Sunday, will find the Polar Bears looking to get back on track after last week's loss against Boston University 44-25.

"They [BU] are a beatable team," said MaryBeth Mathews, "You could see that they were crisp, we just made too many mistakes."

The Polar Bears opened up with an early lead on a three-point penalty kick made by scrumhalf captain Becky Stevens '11. However, the Terriers countered immediately, taking a mishandled ball in for a try and the lead. Bowdoin's offense played well throughout the first half, but BU seized the initiative on every Polar Bear misstep and took a 29-10 lead into the halftime break.

"We had too many missed assignments defensively, and they took advantage of holes in the defense," said Marybeth Mathews. "Every time we made a mistake they took advantage of it."

"They were a very strong team offensively," added Stevens. "They took advantage of their speed and skill in the backs to score some really nice tries."

In the second half, Bowdoin tightened up its defense with some substitutions and managed to get some offense going with a string of tries made by Lena Midney '12, Uche Esonu '13 and Sian Riebe '14. However, Bowdoin could not find an answer for the strong back line of the Terriers, who managed to maneuver through the Bowdoin defense and secure the 19-point win.

"We competed well in the forwards," said Bob Mathews, "but you could tell their back line was very experienced."

It was not all bad news for the Polar Bears, as the B-team won its game 19-10. Paulina Rodis '14 and Maura Allen '14 both scored tries on long runs of 50 and 70 meters, respectively. Helen White '13 and Riebe converted both of those tries, and the Polar Bears wrapped up the scoring with a nice running play that resulted in a try by Kameryn Sanchez '14.

"[The B team game] was a scrappy game," said MaryBeth Mathews. "It might not have been pretty, but they all learned a lot."

The team still took away positives from the weekend.

"We were much improved in our line-outs," said MaryBeth Mathews. "We did well in that we continued to play hard; it wasn't a question of giving up. [Senior] Carolyn Levine made some really good tackles and played great defense, she just found herself outnumbered sometimes."

"Saturday's loss was definitely tough," said Stevens, "but we actually did some really nice things throughout the match, especially in the forwards, and the entire team learned a lot about what it means to play defense, a skill that we can definitely apply in the future."

The team's focus over the week has been on team and individual defense.

"We're making sure people are marked and that we see the big picture on defense," said MaryBeth Mathews. "When we're on defense we're attacking. I like them to have that mind frame."

This Homecoming Weekend will include the alumni game and dinner, but the Polar Bears main focus is the looming faceoff with the Black Bears.

"UMO is always a very challenging match," said Stevens. "This year will be no different and we will prepare for them by working on both our defensive and offensive alignment."