The men’s soccer team honored its senior players last Saturday in its final home game of the regular season with a 4-1 victory over Colby (5-2-2 NESCAC, 8-2-3 overall). The Polar Bears then fell to Tufts in a 1-0 match on Tuesday, and will face the Jumbos in the first round of the NESCAC Championship tomorrow at Tufts.
Thirteen minutes into the game against Colby, Hunter Miller ’16 put a corner kick into the box where captain Ben Brewster ’14 got a foot on it and scored his first goal of the season.
The Mules tied the game later in the first half, but the Polar Bears took control after the intermission, scoring three unanswered goals. Captain Zach Danssaert ’14 played a key role in all three of these second half goals. He assisted Matt Dias Costa ’17 in the 55th minute, and 20 minutes later, he almost scored but was blocked by the Colby goalie. Danssaert controlled the subsequent rebound and fed the ball to nearby Sam White ’15, who capitalized on the open net. Danssaert finally got a goal of his own from outside the 18-yard box on a breakaway later in the half.
Brewster is known for his defensive prowess, and both he and Head Coach Scott Wiercinski thought his first goal of the season was a fitting start to an eventual win on senior day.
“He has meant so much to the team in terms of leadership, his ability to organize and just as a pure defender,” said Wiercinski.
On Tuesday the Polar Bears traveled to Medford, but came up short against the Jumbos (6-4 NESCAC, 8-5-1 overall), losing 1-0 and ending the team’s 10-game win streak. The loss places the Polar Bears, who were ranked No. 22 nationally before the game, just behind the Jumbos in NESCAC standings. The team will travel to Medford again this weekend to play the quarterfinal match. The team is still optimistic going into Saturday’s matchup given how close Tuesday’s game was.
“I don’t want to say this too arrogantly, but it’s good to know what it feels like to lose and use that as a little bit of fuel to the fire,” said Wiercinski. “We can turn that energy around, rectify some of our wrongs, and hopefully, beat them at their place in the playoffs.”
“We haven’t lost since Amherst early on in the season, so we were kind of on the top of the world for a really long time,” added Brewster. “But now we’re back down to earth and its something that can definitely focus us and get us fired up—especially now that were playing Tufts again.”
There were high points for the team despite the disappointing score-line.
“I think we defended the midfield better than we have in many games,” said Wiercinski. “I think we passed the ball better than we have in several games, so there were a lot of things that we did well.”
Although Tufts is a very tough opponent—the team was ranked nationally to start the year—Wiercinski thinks his team is ready for the rematch after learning more about Tufts’ strategy, and especially since Bowdoin is finally expecting some of its key players to return from injury.
“Andrew Gray ’15 was healthy enough to play yesterday but hopefully he’ll be closer to full strength this weekend, and Tommy Henshall ’15 is coming back healthy,” said Wiercinski. “I think with him potentially in the back line he can help us because he attacks so well from that position and we haven’t been getting that as of late.”
Even though it has had a lot of success shuffling players around, the team looks to get back in its comfort zone and flip the script after Tuesday’s loss.
“I’d rather lose yesterday and win Saturday,” said Wiercinski. “Hopefully, that will be the case this weekend.”