Another weekend for the men's soccer team and the winning streak continued for the No. 5-ranked team in the nation. The Polar Bears have now won their last 11 games, a school record, and will host the semifinal and final rounds of the NESCAC tournament at Pickard Field this weekend.

The Polar Bears are in search of their first ever NESCAC title, and will need to win on back-to-back days to achieve their goal.

"We try not to focus on the implications and rewards that come from each game," said head coach Fran O'Leary. "We just want to compete vigorously in an attempt to prove that we are better both individually and collectively than our opponent."

After securing the top seed in the NESCAC tournament last Friday, Bowdoin hosted eighth-seeded Bates for a quarterfinal match on Sunday. Earlier this season, Bates held Bowdoin to a 0-0 tie.

"We outplayed them in almost every facet of [that] game, but still couldn't find the back of the net," said senior Danny Chaffetz. "That tie has bothered us all season—we weren't going to let it happen again."

The Polar Bears wasted little time taking hold of the quarterfinal. Forty-eight seconds into the match, junior Nick Powell headed the ball past the keeper off of a Call Nichols '12 pass and throw-in by Chaffetz.

Twenty minutes later, in similar fashion, Chaffetz's throw-in found Nichols with a throw-in who headed it on to Tim Prior '11, standing on the six-yard box. Prior found the back of the net for his sixth goal of the season.

Prior's half got even better. With 10 minutes left in the first half, he provided the assist for the third goal. After dribbling past three defenders, Prior found junior Eddie Jones, who shot it into the lower left corner.

Yet the first half onslaught was not over, even at 3-0. Just before the first 45 minutes came to a close, Michael Gale '13 scored off a pass from first year defender Ben Brewster.

In the second half, Bates managed to conjure up some semblance of comeback. Tyler Grees scored for the Bobcats with just under 20 minutes remaining in the game, but first year Alex Marecki answered five minutes later with a header, his second career goal. Grees scored once more in the 5-2 Bowdoin win, but there were to be no more goals for the Bobcats as the match finished with the same score line.

Chaffetz tied a school record with three assists on the day, bringing his total for the season to six. Five of his assists have been off throw-ins, a tactic which continues to trip up opponents.

In his second game back from an ankle injury, Dan Hicks '11 made two saves in net. Will Wise '14 took over for most of the second half, letting in his first two goals of the season. Eric Edelman '13 came in for the last few minutes.

"It's great to have Hicks back," said Jones. "He has played in a lot of big games and has the experience that can really calm a team down and get them focused [on] the game."

The win was only possible because of a crucial victory last Friday in the final game of the regular season.

With the top seed in the NESCAC tournament still up in the air, Bowdoin needed to defeat Tufts and Williams to beat the top-seeded Middlebury.

The Polar Bears outshot the Jumbos 14-1 in the first half, but couldn't find the back of the net. The lone goal of the game came from a Powell header off a cross from Jones in the 55th minute.

"Nick Powell scored two very important goals against Tufts and Bates," said O'Leary. "He is playing with great confidence at the moment and this is reflected in his overall level of play."

The Bowdoin defense has also been rock solid during the winning streak.

"I think we got a big boost from Call Nichols and Ben Denton-Schneider ['11] in the middle in the second half against Tufts," said Jones. "They really lifted us and helped us recover from a lackluster first half."

Bowdoin had done its job against Tufts, and with a 3-0 victory over Middlebury, Williams provided the Polar Bears with their second-ever regular season first-place finish.

"We knew that we needed some help from Williams, but we still treated the Tufts game like a cup final," said Chaffetz. "We know how important a home crowd can be, and luckily Williams came through."

The Polar Bears will host Wesleyan, Amherst and Middlebury this weekend for both the semifinal and the final matchup. Bowdoin will face the defending regular season champion and seventh-seeded Wesleyan Cardinals in the first game at 11 a.m. tomorrow.

Middlebury and Amherst, seeded third and fourth, respectively, will then play at 1:30 p.m.

Bowdoin and Wesleyan have split their two previous NESCAC tournament meetings. In 2005, the seventh-seeded Wesleyan team became the lowest seed ever to win the NESCAC championship, beating Bowdoin in the first round. In 2007, Bowdoin got revenge in a first round 2-0 victory.

"Wesleyan's low seed in the tournament is definitely misleading. They lost a lot of close games, but came on hot at the end of the season," said Jones.

Earlier in the season, the Polar Bears won a close 1-0 battle over the Cardinals.

The NESCAC final will be Sunday at noon.