The men’s soccer team rebounded  from a loss to Colby over the weekend with a 2-2 draw against Tufts on Wednesday. 

The Jumbos were ranked 12th nationally before the game and the draw earned the Bears the sixth seed in the NESCAC tournament, which begins this weekend.

In the game against Colby, the Polar Bears were neck-and-neck with the Mules until they conceded a goal with only 12 minutes remaining in the game.

Despite many injuried players, Bowdoin played evenly with the Mules for most of the game.
 “I think we played OK,” Head Coach Scott Wiercinski said. “Colby is a team that is a lot better than they have been, and they are very committed and play with a lot urgency, which is difficult to play against sometimes.”

“It wasn’t our best game, but it’s something that we learned a lot from and it’s important to get a game like that out of the way right before the playoffs,” said senior captain Eric Goitia.
 Colby held a 7-4 edge on shots, but Bowdoin led 4-2 on corner kicks.

“They defended really well after they scored,” Wiercinski said. “We created a few chances but most of them were kind of half chances, not really great chances.”

The loss dropped Bowdoin to 4-5 in conference play, and 8-6 in the season overall. Colby improved to 3-5-2 in the league, and 7-5-3 overall.

In Wednesday’s game against Tufts Bowdoin conceded the first goal in the 16th minute. The league-leading Jumbos continued to control possession throughout the half, eventually capitalizing again two minutes before the end of the first period.

Bowdoin seemed to be well over-matched—with only three shots attempted in the first half compared to Tufts’ 11—until Kiefer Solarte ’16 sent a cross into the box where Nick DiStefano ’18 was able to head the pass into the goal.

Only three minutes later the Polar Bears were awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal. Eric Goitia ’15 proceeded to bend a  shot behind the diving Tufts keeper to even the score with under 20 minutes to play. 

The Polar Bears have had an up-and-down season. Midway through this fall, the team went on a tear and won five straight games in a row. Following the streak the team has faltered, losing three out of its last five games.

“I think we’ve unfortunately had a constant revolving door of challenges throughout the season,” said Wiercinski. 

“Injuries are true for any team, but I feel like some of our injuries have really hampered what we’re capable of doing. I think a lot of our season has been about striving to fix some things rather than achieving our potential.”

 Fortunately, the Polar Bears will be getting many recovering players back for the playoffs.
 “The team is certainly going to be its healthiest that it’s been for a long time, and that’s really encouraging and invigorating,” said Wiercinski.

Bowdoin will be on the road for its first-round playoff match in the NESCAC tournament tomorrow. The team is 2-5 in road games this season. Despite its lack of road success the team is looking forward to showcasing its improved play.

“We’re alright with being on the road,” said Wiercinski. “We’ve won some games on the road, and we’ll try to do it again this weekend.”

Based on their current record it is doubtful that the Polar Bears will recieve an automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Championships. In order to make it to the championships the team will need will need to go far, if not win, the NESCAC tournament.

The tie against the league-leading Jumbos will hopefully give the struggling team confidence going into tomorrow’s 1 p.m. game at third seeded Williams and propel them into the NESCAC tournament.