On Sunday, men’s soccer suffered a season-ending 1-0 loss to Brandeis in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The team defeated The College at Brockport 3-2 in overtime the day before, to advance past the first round.

It was the first time the team had made an appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2010, when they advanced to the semi-finals before a loss to Lynchburg College knocked them out of the tournament.

“We always had high expectations for ourselves at the beginning of the season,” captain Thomas Henshall ’15 said. “Our goal was to win a NESCAC championship and by doing that make an NCAA appearance. I always thought that we had the ability to do that and we are very pleased with that overall.”

Against Brockport, Bowdoin fell behind twice before moving ahead for good. The Ellsworths took the lead in the 5th minute when leading scorer Peter DiLorenzo ’17 scored off a cross on the game’s first shot.

 “I think DiLorenzo is as good as a forward as we have played all season long,” Head Coach Scott Wiercinski said.

Bowdoin struck back in the 41st minute when Henshall hit a hard shot that deflected off a Brockport player and into the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1.  Brockport regained the lead in the 59th minute when a corner kick went directly into the goal. Bowdoin equalized in the 70th minute when Nabil Odulate ’16 headed in a corner from  Sam Ward ’18. The Ellsworths dominated the first few minutes of overtime until Hunter Miller ’16 stole the ball at midfield, dribbled his way through several defenders, then passed the ball into the lower-right corner of the net for game winning goal, which doubled as his first goal of the year.
“To go down twice in a game and still win shows a lot out of the team and kind of represented our whole season,” captain Eric Goitia ’15.

Brockport led 13-12 in shots, and 5-4 on corner kicks. Both teams had 4 shots on goal.
“I thought the guys were really mature and really mentally tough to come back from some of the mistakes that we were making,” said Wiercinski. “So in that way it was really rewarding to come away with a win because we made things difficult for ourselves at a couple of points.”
In the second round, Bowdoin was locked in a scoreless tie with Brandeis at the end of the first half, despite the Judges’ controlling play. They outshot Bowdoin 9-0 in the first half. The Polar Bears nearly had a goal in the 4th minute, though, off the head of Matt Dias Costa ’17, who was ruled offsides.

 “I think Brandeis is skilled in a lot of ways,” said Wiercinski. “They pass the ball as well as any team we’ve played all year and play an aggressive style on defense. But I thought our guys really stuck to the game plan, and playing against such a good opponent in Brandeis is just difficult.”
 In the second half, Brandeis scored the game winner in the 60th minute off a header that found its way just inside the far post. The Judges outshot Bowdoin 18-4 over the course of the game, with five of Brandeis’ shots being on goal to Bowdoin’s two. Brandeis advanced to 19-2 on the season with the win, while Bowdoin concluded the season with a 10-7-3 record.

 “It was a disappointing way to end our season,” Wiercinski continued. “Only one team in the country finishes with a win, and we’re not that team unfortunately. But I think the adventure we had as a team was just an awesome experience, and I think the guys can always look to that NESCAC championship and feel like there’s really something that came out of that hard work and camaraderie and effort.”