It has been over one month since the men's soccer team's only loss of the season. Since that loss against Middlebury on September 25, the Polar Bears have won nine straight games and jumped up the standings to fifth in the nation, matching their highest-ever ranking.

The Polar Bears need a win today, coupled with a Middlebury loss or tie, to host the NESCAC tournament.

"Coach O'Leary often says sport is 90 percent gossip," said senior captain Dan Hicks. "We're trying to keep ourselves in the 10 percent and express ourselves on the field."

As much as the Polar Bears want to keep a low profile, the rest of the NESCAC is definitely talking.

Over its winning streak, Bowdoin has outscored its opponents 31-2 and sits just one point behind Middlebury for the NESCAC lead. Bowdoin is currently ranked first in the New England region going into the last game of the regular season.

"We have confidence in ourselves because we know that if we focus and play our best in the game at hand, the result will take care of itself," said sophomore Michael Gale.

Last Saturday, the Polar Bears hosted the Trinity Bantams for an in-conference matchup. Entering the game, Bowdoin was ranked No. 14 in the nation and Trinity was searching for a spark to keep their playoff hopes alive.

The Polar Bears had a frustrating first half as they outshot the Bantams 7-1, but could not find the back of the net. In the 51st minute, junior Call Nichols found Gale with a chip shot that cleared the Trinity defense. Gale fired a low shot to give Bowdoin a 1-0 lead and tallied his fourth goal of the season.

With five minutes left in the second half, junior Eddie Jones sealed Bowdoin's eighth straight victory with a shot that deflected off of Grant Schonberg, Trinity's goalie, and into the net. Jones is now tied for the team lead in goals, with five.

The win secured a Bowdoin home game for the NESCAC quarterfinals. Trinity will need to beat Amherst on Friday to reach the postseason.

The Polar Bears had a quick turnaround for their Colby-Sawyer game on Sunday. Bowdoin wasted no time in asserting their dominance over the visitors from New Hampshire, as five different players scored en route to a 5-0 shutout.

Nick Powell '12 was the first on the board for the Polar Bears with a header from Zach Danssaert's '14 cross into the box.

Will Berry, the Colby-Sawyer goaltender, kept the Polar Bears in check with eight saves until two minutes before the half. Tim Prior '11 showed off his nifty moves to break free at the top of the box, ripping a shot into the lower left corner for his fifth goal of the season.

Nichols netted his second goal of the season six minutes into the second half. Senior Greg Frechette joined the party with five minutes to play to mark his first goal of the year. Sophomore Zach Ostrup rounded out the game with an unassisted goal two minutes later.

A pair of first years on opposite ends of the field have found their stride during the second half of the season.

Danssaert has scored four goals, has made one assist and consistently has had an impact on the game.

"Zach provides a big target in the attacking third while also showing some speed in defense with his big frame," said Hicks.

Will Wise '14, filling in for the injured Hicks at goalie, picked up his third and fourth wins in net over the weekend. Wise made two saves against the Bantams and has not allowed in a goal over his six appearances.

"Will has deputized superbly in the absence of Dan Hicks," said coach Fran O'Leary. "He has been ably assisted by an experienced back four who have grown in stature with each game."

"I wasn't expecting to get much playing time, let alone start some games, but our defense is very good and made the transition pretty smooth," said Wise.

Depending on Hicks' ankle, Wise may get the starts this weekend.

O'Leary was pleased with the offensive performance over the season.

"We have balanced scoring throughout our midfield and forwards," he said. "Several players have chimed in with key goals over the course of the season and it gives us great confidence going into post season play."

The numbers don't lie. The Polar Bears lead the NESCAC in goals scored.

With a little help from Williams, the Polar Bears can clinch the top seed in the NESCAC tournament and secure homefield advantage in hopes of their first ever conference title.

On Friday, the Polar Bears will travel to Tufts for their last NESCAC matchup. With a win against the Jumbos and a Williams win or tie against Middlebury, the Polar Bears will lock up the No. 1 seed.

"We are about to enter a big game against a much-improved Tufts team," said O'Leary. "They have only conceded five goals in conference play and we will have to be on the top of our game in order to prevail."

Sunday will be the start of the postseason at four locations around the NESCAC.