Entering halftime, the men's soccer team was tied with Tufts and had a regular season NESCAC title hanging in the balance. Junior Nick Powell quickly quelled any lingering doubt by scoring nine minutes into the second half, and the Polar Bears hung on for a 1-0 victory.

Fast forward to Sunday: The Polar Bears were preparing for a potentially troublesome quarterfinal match against Bates. One minute into the match, Powell put Bowdoin ahead and the Polar Bears never lost the lead in what was a 5-2 victory.

Throughout his career, Powell has thrived as a finisher. He led the team in goals (seven) and points (18) last year and finished second on the team his first year with three goals and seven points.

This year Powell has added five goals and 13 points to Bowdoin's potent, league-leading offensive attack.

"[Nick] has a knack of arriving at the right time in the penalty area," said head coach Fran O'Leary.

This year, O'Leary thinks that Powell has added a new dimension to his game

"Always technically sound, he has added a competitive edge that has seen him physically dominate his opponents," he said.

Danny Chaffetz '11 expressed relief that he and Powell are on the same team.

"I hate practicing against him because he can really make a defender look bad," Chaffetz said. "He's impossible to cover one-on-one because he has so many different moves and always seems to keep you off balance."

Powell says he's learned to be tougher mentally and physically during his career at Bowdoin. The newfound tenacity has added a flair for the dramatic: three of the junior's tallies have been game winners.

Powell also exudes a confidence that permeates through most of the No. 1-ranked team in New England.

He fondly remembered his strike against the Jumbos because he was sure he could count on Bowdoin's stellar defensive record to ensure that the goal would be the game winner.

While he understands the importance of focusing on each game, Powell also has his eyes set on a bigger prize.

"I would love to win NESCACs, and even more so the national tournament," he said.

Bowdoin hosts Wesleyan in the NESCAC semifinals at 11 a.m. this Saturday at Pickard Field. In the teams' first meeting, Powell scored the decisive goal in a 1-0 Bowdoin victory.

The junior from Enfield, New Hampshire says that his greatest memory of his Bowdoin soccer career thus far is his first goal, which he netted in a 2008 matchup with Amherst.

A game-winner against Wesleyan or in the NESCAC finals or in the national tournament might change that.