Though a 1-4 start has left the young and injury-riddled Polar Bears down, they are not going to count themselves out. They are determined to finish 2010 on a high note, starting tomorrow afternoon at Wesleyan.

With a current record of 3-2, Wesleyan will be another tough test for Bowdoin. To go along with its solid passing game and an athletic offensive line, Wesleyan has NESCAC's top rusher leading their second-ranked rushing attack. The Polar Bears know that stopping this dangerous Wesleyan ground game will be the key difference in tomorrow's matchup.

"Defensively, we're preparing for a heavy rushing attack," said senior captain Scott Roman. "We haven't been strong against the run this year and we need to look inside ourselves and figure out what the problem has been. But if we stop the run, we'll be in a good position where our talented secondary and pass rush can take over. It really all comes down to stopping the run."

Among other things, Bowdoin cannot stress enough how big of a difference little mistakes have made this season. The Polar Bears know cutting down on mistakes will go a long way.

"For us right now, it is a lot of little things," said head coach Dave Caputi. "We need to make sure we are in place and have our assignments on the field, which is where our mistakes have come in the heat of battle. Wesleyan is like any other game. If we show up and play well, we can win. However, if we make mistakes like we have, we're going to be working even harder than we already do on the field."

Still unable to stop a season-long trend, costly Bowdoin mistakes once again reared their heads this past Saturday during the team's disappointing 31-14 loss to Trinity.

After Trinity took an early lead with a field goal, the Polar Bears responded in historic fashion. Spotted at the Bowdoin five-yard line, first-year quarterback Grant White placed a beautifully-thrown pass over the shoulder of receiver Sean O'Malley '13 who broke loose into the open and took off for a 95-yard touchdown.

This catch became the longest play in the history of Bowdoin football, surpassing a 90-yard pass from Hayes MacArthur to Steve LaFond in 1997 against Tufts.

An interception by Dan Evans '12 helped increase the Bowdoin lead early in the second quarter. Three plays later, White play-action faked and took the ball himself up the middle for a 22-yard touchdown that gave the Polar Bears a 14-3 lead with 10:42 left before halftime.

Facing an unexpected deficit, Trinity quickly responded on its next drive with a 26-yard touchdown pass after a long kickoff return gave them starting field position deep in Bowdoin territory. The score cut Bowdoin's lead to 14-10 with 8:04 left in the second quarter.

Trinity took a lead it would not relinquish for the rest of the game with a 22-yard strike late in the second, giving the Bantams a 17-14 heading into halftime.

After a scoreless third quarter, Trinity started to pull away in the tightly-contested game when it capped a lengthy 11-play, 57-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown run, extending its lead to 24-14 after the successful PAT.

Bowdoin looked to respond to Trinity's score on its next drive. However, Billy Donahue '11 missed a 24-yard field goal attempt with 10:20 left in the fourth.

Trinity effectively sealed the win on its next drive with a 10-play, 80-yard drive that was finished off by a one-yard touchdown plunge that clinched the 31-14 win, the 12th straight for Trinity over Bowdoin going back to 1998.

"A lot of people were surprised we were in such a position," said Roman. "We had a shot, but we let it get away. We couldn't stop the run and gave up a bunch of big plays. We had to play mistake free against them to win, but, in the end, we didn't. We had a chance, but we didn't do it, which is disappointing."

On the day, White finished 11-22 with a touchdown and two interceptions for Bowdoin. Brendan Garner '11 caught a team-high six passes, while O'Malley finished with four catches for 113 yards and the record-breaking score. On defense, first-year defensive back Joey Cleary finished with two red zone picks, while senior defensive lineman Reed Harasimowicz led the Polar Bears with 13 total tackles and a forced fumble.

"This game was both encouraging and frustrating," said Caputi. "We had a good young team with many freshman starters going up against an experienced veteran team. It proved to our kids that we can be competitive with other people, but that will not be enough. Once we have opportunities, we need to capitalize."

Bowdoin will play Wesleyan tomorrow afternoon in Middletown, Connecticut.