Women's lacrosse concludes middling season with loss to Tufts
The Bowdoin women’s lacrosse team (7-8, 2-8 NESCAC) failed to qualify for NESCAC tournament play for the first time since 2009 after falling to Tufts (9-6, 5-5 NESCAC) 17-8 in the team’s final regular season game on Wednesday. It’s only the second time that Bowdoin will miss the tournament in the NESCAC’s fifteen year history.
Going into Wednesday night, Bowdoin needed a win and a Williams loss (5-10, 2-8 NESCAC) to surpass the Ephs in the NESCAC and grab the eighth and final spot in the tournament. Though Williams lost to Middlebury (14-1, 9-1 NESCAC) in overtime, the Polar Bears were unable to capitalize on their opportunity.
Bowdoin was on its heels from the start, conceding the first five goals of the game. The teams entered the locker room at the half with a 12-2 Tufts advantage.
Though it is a disappointing end to the season, it is worth noting that the NESCAC is extremely competitive this year, with seven teams ranked in the top 20 nationwide.
“Every NESCAC game is a battle,” said head coach Liz Grote. “It makes it exciting… every day you know you need to bring your best game.”
Despite little success in conference play, the team has produced several positive results down the stretch after a difficult start to the season. The Polar Bears’ two conference wins both came at home earlier this month. The first was a back-and-forth 14-12 game against Connecticut College on April 9 and the second was an equally thrilling 11-10 victory over Wesleyan on April 16.
The team also brought the intensity on Senior Day this past Saturday, as Bowdoin crushed Wheaton College 16-3 for of its most convincing wins of the seasons.
“The win against Wheaton this weekend was an absolute, complete game,” said Grote. “That was satisfying, to see the efforts that the team put in that week in practice to really pay off and head into the Tufts game on Wednesday.”
Captain Sophie Janes ’16 says that the team had recently been working most on getting the basics down—passing, catching, ensuring solid 1-v-1 defense, making the right cuts and seeing open space—rather than players individually working to fulfill their own goals.
Janes also noted that the 12-9 loss to Trinity on April 2 was a key game in helping develop the team towards the end of the season.
“We didn’t beat Trinity, but we played very well against them,” said Janes. “I think that was kind of the turning point in our season, in regaining confidence, knowing we can really challenge other very strong teams.”
Unfortunately, the women have had many injuries throughout the season. However, this has given the first years and younger players the opportunity to step up into those roles. Janes noted a key first year has been Natalie Rudin ’19 in the midfield, who has risen to the occasion tremendously.
In addition, captains Emma Beecher ’16, Lindsay Picard ’16, Megan O’Connor ’16 and Janes have been some of the team’s most consistent performers. Janes also credited Mettler Growney ’17 on attack for always bringing the intensity and energy needed and Kayli Weiss ’18 and Erin Morrissey ’19 for staying strong in goal.
“I would say our attack as a unit has been one of the most consistent parts of the game—the pressure that our attack puts on the other team when we don’t have the ball,” said Grote.
One of the team’s main goals recently was increasing its shooting percentage, and it has had success in this category of late. Against Wheaton, for example, Bowdoin scored 16 goals on 29 shots.
Baseball struggles in difficult NESCAC East
After success earlier in the season, the Bowdoin baseball team has dropped to the bottom of its division with a 3-6 conference record. This standing makes it highly unlikely that the Polar Bears will qualify for the NESCAC playoffs this year, as only the top two teams in each five-team division qualify. The team has three more divisional games which will be played in the series against Tufts during the last weekend in April.
This past weekend the team lost twice to Colby before finishing the series on a good note with a 5-2 win in the third game. On Monday, Bowdoin won 11-1 at Thomas College. On Thursday, the Polar Bears won their third straight game with a 8-2 victory against Husson, hopefully giving them momentum for a successful upcoming weekend.
“I think we’re definitely behind where we expected to be,” said Captain Harry Ridge ’16. “But I think that this year we’ve worked as hard, if not a lot harder, to prepare ourselves in the off-season, which is why it is so frustrating because going into the year, we were in a pretty good spot.”
Both Ridge and Head Coach Mike Connolly agree that when the team has struggled this season, it has not been for a lack of effort, preparation or desire to win. In fact, Ridge thinks that at times, the team may have been trying too hard, straining to accomplish too many things at once and thus coming up short. For Connolly, the problem seems to be failing to achieve a consistency that allows the team to excel in all areas at once.
“When we did play well, I would say it was a complete effort, where we weren’t necessarily outstanding at any one particular area, but we were very good at all three,” said Connolly, referring to pitching, fielding and hitting. “When we struggled, we just weren’t as consistent. I think what we’re trying to do moving forward is just be as consistent as possible to put ourselves in the best position to win every game down the stretch.”
Still, there have been impressive team performances and individual players who stand out this season. Among these are Sean Mullaney ’17 at shortstop, who is the best defensive shortstop in the league according to Connolly. Meanwhile, Ridge is the team’s number one pitcher and has started five games for the team.
“[Ridge] is the definition of consistency,” said Connolly. “We know what we’re going to get from him every time he pitches; he’s been a standout for us.”
New additions and younger players’ improvement have also impacted the team. Within the past few weeks, Nick Sadler ’18 and Joe Gentile ’18 have proved themselves to be very valuable players in the outfield. Meanwhile, Luke Cappellano ’19 at second base leads the team in runs batted in, and Brandon Lopez ’19 has stood out as a pitcher and hitter.
First year catchers, Ejaaz Jiu ’19 and Colby Joncas ’19, have risen to the challenge after senior captain Chris Nadeau ’16 was injured in the beginning of the season.
“[Nadeau] was probably our most valuable player going into the year just because he is such a presence on the field,” said Ridge.
After injuring his elbow, Nadeau has shifted to a role of designated hitter, but this has been a huge loss to the team’s defense.
“[Nadeau] is a phenomenal defensive catcher and a fantastic leader,” said Connolly. “He’s been a four-year performer for us. [He] really is the true backbone of our defense. It’s a shame he hasn’t had the opportunity to play more behind the disk.”
Ridge said the most satisfying wins recently have been the last game against Trinity on April 2 and the comeback victory against Colby this past weekend. According to Connolly, during conference series, the Polar Bears face a level of competition very similar to theirs. It can be frustrating at times because there is such a fine line between winning and losing these series as the games can easily go either way.
Looking forward, Bowdoin will play a series against Williams this weekend followed up with a game against St. Joseph’s College on Tuesday. This long stretch of home games will hopefully be advantageous to the Polar Bears, who are looking to win all of these challenging matchups. If the Polar Bears are able to get good momentum going this weekend, Connolly believes they will land themselves in a good place for the crucial series against Tufts beginning April 29 at home.
“Our biggest concern at this point is playing defense, throwing strikes and making plays and putting ourselves in a good position so that we can put together good at-bats without being behind in a game,” said Ridge. “Everyone is working hard enough. It’s just a matter of everything coming together at once.”
Women’s track and field kicks off outdoor season with second-place finish
The track and field teams competed last Saturday at home at the Bowdoin Invitational at Magee-Samuelson track. The women finished with 164 points to put them in second place, ahead of Husson (80), Colby (56), University of Maine-Farmington (39) and St. Joseph’s (7) but just behind the University of Southern Maine (199), who won the meet.
“We were resting a couple of our people who would score a lot of points for us,” said captain Lucy Knott ’17. “So in the future, our points situation could be a little higher, which would be nice. But we also had some great moments.”
Before transitioning from the indoor to outdoor seasons, a few Bowdoin women also competed in the NCAA Championships in March. Katie Krupp ’16 and Sarah Kelley ’18 both received their first All-American honors during a successful weekend. Kelley finished the mile in 4:56.40 to finish in sixth place and was one of just three non-seniors in the group of 10 competitors.
She finished just four seconds behind the winning pace. Meanwhile, Krupp broke her own record in the triple jump with a distance of 11.92 meters on her third attempt and finished fifth in the triple jump.
The Bowdoin women were outstanding on Saturday during the throwing events, sweeping all but one. Pamela Zabala ’17 won the discus with 36.17 meters, Knott captured the hammer with 44.73 meters and Ellen Masalsky ’17 won the javelin with 38.66 meters. Addison Carvajal ’16 also had a strong performance, winning the high jump with a 1.55-meter jump. Meanwhile on the track, the 4x100 relay team did very well and Meghan Bellerose ’17, who won the 800 meters in 2:19.77, and Sara Ory ’19, who won the 400 meter hurdles in 1:08.52.
“A lot of the marks on both the men’s and the women’s side of the throwing events put people in the top five or top three in NESCAC standings, so that is really exciting,” said Knott.
Knott noted that this was also an exciting time for the first years who got their first taste of the outdoors. The transition from indoor to outdoor competition can be difficult because of the alterations in the events in both settings. For example, the indoor track is 200 meters while the outdoor track is 400 meters. In addition, pole vaulters have to do their events inside even at an outdoor meet which can be tough for them because it removes them from the rest of the team.
“I think the majority of our team would prefer indoor because you’re so much less susceptible to the elements. You don’t have to worry about wind or if it’s going to be rainy or cold,” said Knott.
Knott said that the team already feels like a cohesive unit at this point, with the first years fully integrated, which is an impressive feat in a sport like track.
“Track is such an individualized event,” said Knott. “There are so many different event groups within track, so it’s very easy to rely on your event group. This year, there is such a collective feeling [on] the team, and we’ve pretty much broken down the event group barriers.”
Looking forward, the women will next attend the Middlebury Invitational this weekend.
The following weekend is the Aloha Relays, which is the women’s state meet held at Bowdoin. The women have won this meet the last seven years in a row and are hoping to get the win again, a goal that Knott said is currently at the top of everyone’s mind. After a great start to the outdoor season, the team hopes to only go up from here.
Men’s lacrosse on eight-game win streak, has difficult stretch ahead
After winning against Bates this past Wednesday, the Bowdoin men’s lacrosse team is on an eight-game winning streak. Though they lost their first game of the season to Amherst in a close 10-7 contest, the Polar Bears have won every game since. So far, the team’s record is 8-1 (5-1 NESCAC). The team currently sits at 13th in the Division III standings.
The team is at the point in the season in which almost all of the remaining games are against conference opponents. This usually marks the most difficult stretch of the season.
After a disappointing season last year (the team finished with a record of 3-12), captain Adam Fitzgerald ’16 said that the team has set out to make things different this year.
“Last year left a bad taste in our mouths,” said Fitzgerald. “I think all of us came together and decided that this year couldn’t be like that again. We spent a lot of time in the off-season together as a team, and I think right now we’re seeing some of the benefits of that. Hopefully we can keep that going.”
Head Coach Jason Archbell agrees that the work the team did in preparation for this season has really paid off. With the strong leadership from six seniors, who have set examples on and off the field, the team has already had much success. During the off-season, the team worked on stick skills, shooting and lifting. As a result, Archbell said that the players started the year off in great shape which is a testament to their dedication.
“It was a clear dedication from day one to making themselves the best lacrosse players they can be,” said Archbell. “When you have that dedication, you have a lot of ownership in your success. You work that hard at something, you want to be really good at it. I think our guys have worked really hard.”
What Fitzgerald sees as the key to its success is the team’s chemistry and unity.
“We’ve always been a really close team,” said Fitzgerald. “We’re all out there doing it for each other, and we know we have each other’s backs.”
Archbell added that in comparison to other years’ teams he has coached, this team has shown itself to be an especially cohesive unit.
“The team has always been really tight knit,” said Archbell. “But [this year], there’s just this positive connection between all of them, from the freshmen all the way to the seniors. More than anything, it’s a fun group to be around, and they really like being around each other too.”
The team has also gained some valuable first year players this year who have contributed a lot to the team’s success. Most notable are Clayton Wright ’19, who has 12 goals and 12 assists, and Sam Carlin ’19, who has done well during face-offs this season with a percentage of 54.6.
Other player performances that have stood out so far this season include Peter Mumford ’17 in goal, Matt Crowell ’18 and Daniel Buckman ’18 in midfield, Shawn Daly ’18 and Brett Kujala ’17 on attack and Parker Sessions ’18 on defense. Both Mumford and Kujala have been named NESCAC Players of the Week already this season.
Archbell noted that Mumford had an especially stellar performance during the game against Middlebury, in which he allowed only two goals in the second half and helped the Polar Bears win a nail-biter, 9-8, in overtime. His save percentage is 61.6, and he has had a total of 117 saves this season.
However, despite these individual performances, Fitzgerald emphasized that the team’s success comes from each of its players.
“It’s no one guy that is doing all the work,” said Fitzgerald. “We’ve figured out how to play as a team, and everyone contributes. From the starters to the end of the bench, everyone plays an important role.”
While Archbell thinks the team played well in Florida during Spring Break, both he and Fitzgerald believe that the Polar Bears have yet to play at their full potential for all four quarters of a game. In order to do so in the future, Archbell said that the team must figure out how to play with and hold on to a lead and to put constant pressure on the other team.
Meanwhile, Fitzgerald emphasized that the team will need to continue staying motivated and hungry with the goal of winning the NESCAC Championship.
The team is back on the field this Saturday at Connecticut College at 1 p.m. in a conference matchup.
Kevin Trinh ’19 competes in national junior weightlifting championships
Last month, Bowdoin first-year Kevin Trinh competed in the National Junior Weightlifting Championships in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania and finished sixth out of 44 in his weight class.
Trinh plans on continuing with the sport until his mid-20s, going to national meets whenever he can. His next competition will be the University Nationals this September. As far as preparation, he will need to recover well and plan an agenda for summer training. Trinh also plans to spend more time with the Bowdoin Weightlifting Club that he helped to found this year.
At the competition last month, Trinh competed in the “A” group of the 69 kg (152 lbs) weight class. Each lifter was given three attempts at two lifts called the snatch and the clean & jerk. As explained by Trinh, the snatch is a lift started on the ground. With a wide grip and in one smooth movement, the lifter brings the weight straight above his or her head. The clean & jerk is divided into two movements; the clean is the move that brings the weight up to the shoulders, and the jerk is a full explosive movement to press the weight above the head. Trinh got a snatch weight of 102 kg (224.8 lbs) and a clean & jerk total of 130 kg (286.6 lbs).
“As far as my own performance,” said Trinh, “I did not hit any personal records, which in a way was a disappointment; but at the same time, I did hit fairly high numbers.”
Had he hit the numbers he had hoped to, Trinh would have placed fifth rather than sixth.Trinh was first introduced to the sport of weightlifting in high school. He began competing on the football and wrestling teams and spent his off-season in the weight room during the spring. The supervisor of the weight room happened to also be the weightlifting coach, so he recognized Trinh’s talent and recruited him for the team.
He began entering competitions his sophomore year in high school. This is not the first time Trinh has competed on the national stage: he lifted at Youth Nationals in 2013, where he took first place.
Since Bowdoin does not have a weightlifting team, Trinh does not have a coach while here at school. He has been competing a lot less in college but makes sure to prepare intensively for specific meets like the Junior Championships.
During Trinh’s first semester at Bowdoin, he notes that training was challenging, as he was still adjusting to college and his workload. However, by second semester he has figured out how to manage his schedule better. This semester, he spent more time in the weightroom than in classes. He pulled this feat off without missing any class.
Trinh’s last competition before February’s Junior Championships was back in June.
“It was a strange feel that I was returning back to lifting in front of a platform in front of a crowd,” said Trinh. “But it was definitely something I looked forward to. It’s not something that happens all the time and so I value it more in that sense.”
At this year’s Junior Championships, Trinh’s weight class was incredibly talented. One lifter was the son of a gold-medal Olympian, and another holds the youth world record. Trinh, however, was up for the challenge.
“Coming into this competition, I knew there were some pretty big names in my weight class. But at the same time, I was really excited to be on the platform with these guys, giving it my all.”
Trinh’s favorite part about competing is the mental component. Some lifters might be very good in training but crack under pressure when it comes to the platform, with a huge crowd of people watching. He prides himself on coming into competition with a strong mindset, and not buckling under the competition.
Women’s basketball set to host, play in NCAA tourney
This week, the Bowdoin women’s basketball team earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament and will host both the first and second rounds at Morrell Gymnasium this coming weekend. Although the team lost to Amherst in the NESCAC semifinals on Saturday, they get a fresh start this weekend.
This will be Bowdoin’s 16th NCAA Tournament appearance, which is the most of any NESCAC school. The Polar Bears have only missed one tournament in the last 16 seasons and have made it to the Sweet Sixteen 12 times. On Friday evening, the Polar Bears (20-6) will face Westfield State (20-7) in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Last year, the Polar Bears lost in NESCAC finals and then made it to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA tournament. These results and high expectations were fresh in the players’ minds from the beginning of the season.
“It was no secret that the goal was the NESCAC Championship and then to go as far as you can in the NCAAs,” said captain Rachel Norton ’17. “At the same time, I think we do a really good job of balancing that with trying to focus on the next game we are playing. Whichever the next game is is the most important. We are just looking to win one game at a time.”
Last weekend, the Polar Bears went up against Amherst in the NESCAC semifinals but came up short, losing 63-51. Marle Curle ’17 led the team with 17 points and four assists, followed by Shannon Brady ’16 who finished with 15 points and six rebounds. Kate Kerrigan ’18 was close behind with seven points and a team-best 11 rebounds. Amherst defeated Tufts by one point to win the NESCAC title the next day. If Bowdoin advances to the Elite Eight round in NCAAs, it is possible the team will meet Amherst again.
Following this loss, Norton believes the team needs to tighten up rebounding at both ends of the court and box out better. In addition, she said that the players will work on tightening up defense to minimize mental errors that opponents can capitalize on.
“Despite not achieving that goal, we took the time to be upset and refocused and watched our film. Now [we are just focused] on NCAAs and moving forward from there,” said Norton of the team’s loss last weekend.
While the goal in the NCAA Tournament is of course to get as far as possible, the Polar Bears are extremely focused on the first round against Westfield. Westfield plays a unique and different game, using what is called the “Grinnell System.” The Owls will look to instill a chaotic tempo, force a lot of turnovers and switch five players in out every one or two minutes.
“It’s definitely something we haven’t seen,” said Assistant Coach Toby Martin. “So we’re very focused on the up-tempo game this week. With that said, our big focus is just taking care of the ball and knowing that going into the game, we are going to make mistakes...But if we can just take care of [the ball] and be composed and play our game throughout the craziness, then we’ll be okay.”
“They’re going to look to be putting us in a frenzy,” added Norton. “One of the biggest keys for us is to stay composed and not get into this crazy running back and forth and make sure we play the tempo we want to play and not the tempo they’re trying to force.”
According to Norton, the Polar Bears will hope to make the right decisions about when to push the tempo because they like to run, but with a team like Westfield, the goal will be to slow the tempo down.
The Polar Bears are excited to host the tournament with home court advantage. Not only is it preferable to not have to travel, but Brady, the team’s lone senior, has one more opportunity to play at home.
“Our team has worked so hard this year, and I think they all deserve to play at home again, to play in front of their family and friends,” said Martin.
Bowdoin will host three different teams in total this weekend. Today, NYU will play Lehman College at 5 p.m., and Bowdoin will follow at 7 p.m. against Westfield. On Saturday, the winners of the first-round games will play at 7 p.m.
“I think we really have progressed,” said Martin. “We’re exactly where we want to be, and I think we’ve definitely met expectations, and I think we’re hoping to exceed them this weekend and hopefully in the upcoming weeks.”
Men's swimming finishes sixth at NESCAC meet
This past weekend, the men’s swimming and diving team competed at the NESCAC Championship and finished sixth overall out of eleven teams present, tying last year’s finish. Bowdoin accumulated a total of 834.5 points throughout the three-day competition.
The team trains throughout the entire season in anticipation for this one important meet. For the Polar Bears, this hard work seems to have paid off. Karl Sarier ’19 won an individual NESCAC title in the 200 freestyle, and many members of the team managed to put up their fastest times.
“For the most part, we swam well,” said Head Coach Brad Burnham. “There are always going to be a few people that are disappointed or don’t quite meet expectations, but it’s hard to get 24 men to swim fast all at the same time. They did a great job, trying to swim as fast as they could, keeping a good attitude and working together. It was fun this year.”
Bowdoin’s NESCAC rival, Bates, finished one spot above the Polar Bears in fifth place. While the team had hoped to top the Bobcats at the meet, captain John Lagasse ’16 said he wasn’t at all disappointed by Bowdoin’s overall performance and believes that both teams swam a very good meet.
Lagasse noted that the first day of the meet got off to a slow start, but the Polar Bears were able to push through and end the weekend on a high note.
“The first day of the meet was a little slower,” said Lagasse. “But as we got acclimated to the meet, things very quickly sorted out. I think that was a testament to the mindset of the team— being a good, cohesive group and very willing to put [our] best efforts out there.”
Among the achievements of the weekend, most notable was Sarier’s, who not only won the 200 freestyle but also set new school records during both the 100 and 200 freestyle races. In the 200, he finished with a time of 1:39.70. Sarier came in third overall in the 100 freestyle with a time of 45.48. In addition, Sarier set yet another school record when he finished in second place in the 200 yard IM with a time of 1:51.22.
Michael Netto ’18 also had an impressive weekend, breaking a pair of school records in the 100 and 200 breaststroke. Netto finished fourth in both events and set new marks at 56.49 in the 100 and 2:03.67 in the 200. Both Netto and Sarier achieved B cut qualifying times for the NCAA Championship.
“Especially since those guys are underclassmen, it’s good to see that kind of performance early in the career,” said capital John Anderson ’16. “It definitely bodes well for the future.”
Another highlight for the team was the 400 free relay. Lagasse, Netto, Sarier and Will Hutchinson ’18 combined in the relay and broke a Bowdoin record, finishing in 3:05.92.
Going into the meet, the Polar Bears sought to swim well and improve upon their already solid season. Though they finished sixth both this year and last at the championship, Burnham believes that this year’s meet was much stronger.
“We improved in a lot of ways,” said Burnham. “Clearly we have a different race strategy than some of the other schools, and in most cases, that paid off. We were able to come back stronger, finish races and swim faster times than some people that swam races differently.”
Lagasse and Anderson highlighted improvement throughout the season in mid-distance events. Both areas gained a lot of new talent that helped make up for injuries and greatly contributed to the overall positive atmosphere and success of the season. Anderson and Lagasse also noted the supportive team environment that was kept up through the whole season and was especially strong this past weekend.
“Everyone was a little nervous the first day of competition,” said Anderson. “But then we realized all we had to do was be there for each other like we had been for the whole season. [There was] a good feeling of true camaraderie and support for the next two days.”
“It was probably one of the strongest teams I’ve been a part of,” added Lagasse. “[The team] brought a level of intensity that wasn’t necessarily there in previous years.”
Women’s swimming sets 14 school records at NESCACs
This past weekend, the women’s swimming and diving team set 14 school records at the NESCAC Championship meet at Middlebury College. The team finish sixth out of 11 schools over the three-day period. They were just short of the top five, with a total score of 959 points. Last year, the Polar Bears earned 932.5 points, which was good enough for a fifth place finish.
“In swimming you work all year for one championship meet,” said Mariah Rawding ’18. “That hard training throughout the entire year made a huge impact at the end.”
The Polar Bears started strong from the very first day, when Rawding won an individual NESCAC title with a 29.32 in the 50 yard breaststroke.
“It was so exciting. I wasn’t expecting it going into the meet,” said Rawding. “Also, it was really fun to see the seniors do so well...that was really inspiring to the rest of the team.”
Rawding, along with Bridget Killian ’16, Sophia Walker ’17 and Lela Garner ’16, finished in fourth place at the 200 freestyle relay final.
Killian set a pair of school records in the 50 freestyle (23.84) and 100 freestyle (52.02). Garner set a school record in the 200 free (1:52.61), in the 50 backstroke (26.90) and in the 100 backstroke (57.21). In addition, Reading set new marks in the 50 fly (26.08) and 100 fly (57.82). First year Ally Fromson-Ho set a new record in the 200 fly (2:08.37).
Other successes of the day included senior Mariah Reading’s eighth place finish in the 50 butterfly final, with a time of 28.13, and Garner’s sixth place finish in the 50 backstroke final in 26.96. Killian earned a top three spot in the 50 yard free final and won 27 points with a 23.94.
Finally, the 400 medley relay team composed of Garner, Rawding, Reading and Killian took a third place finish in the final with time of 3:48.92, setting a Bowdoin record. The team itself racked up 393.5 points that day.
Last year, the team’s divers were absent due to injury. Their presence in the competition this year made a huge impact. By the end of the weekend, Bowdoin’s two divers, Christine Anderson ’17 and Rebecca Stern ’19, accumulated a total of 106 points for the team. Stern finished second in the three meter event with a score of 428.25, and Anderson followed in third place with 406.80. In addition, the diving coach Kelsey Willard won Diving Coach of the Year.
Continuing her winning ways from the first day of the meet, Rawding brought home three records total in the 50, 100 and 200 breaststroke. Aside from capturing her individual NESCAC victory in the 50 (29.32), she finished in second place in the 100 (1:03.39) and third place in the 200 (2:19.76).
Even more records were set in the relays. Killian, Garner, Rawding and Sterling Dixon ’19 combined in the 400 free relay to set a new record with a time of 3:27.95. Holly Rudel ’17, Rawding, Reading and Walker set a record in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:45.48.Both Rawding and Walker note that one highlight of the whole weekend was the senior women’s impressive performances.
“The senior women’s class was pretty incredible,” said Walker. “They really brought it home... It is hard to take off time every year, especially in your last year at Bowdoin.”
After this weekend, it appears the team has peaked in a way that they had hoped for by this point in the season. Rawding explained that everyone went in with the mindset of having worked and trained hard all season with this one weekend in mind and they are happy with how the championship meet turned out.
“The same things that we always work on—starts, turns, speed—the hard part is getting that all to come together at one particular moment in time, and I think we did a really good job bringing that together,” said Walker.
Official NCAA announcements will be posted on February 24. While it is still to be determined, Rawding attests that at the moment it looks promising that a few relays will go to the NCAA Championships, which are held the first week of Spring Break in North Carolina.“It is such an honor to go [to NCAAs],” said Walker. “The team is very excited to have some members able to compete.”
Women’s track team wins seven events at Maine State Meet
The Bowdoin women’s track and field team has achieved a large amount of success over the past two weekends. The Polar Bears swept their final home invitational on January 30 and then finished third at the Maine State Meet on February 5.
“It’s been hard work by the runners mixed with the plans we have for training,” said Head Coach Peter Slovenski. “This is the time of year we want people to be having their best performances, and they are.”
Katie Krupp ’16 believes that the level of training during the offseason this year set up the team for success. The team held training in the fall and a two-week preseason at the end of Winter Break.
“We came into this season in better shape and also better prepared than we have in other years,” Krupp said.
On January 30, the Bowdoin Invitational III was held at Farley Field House, where the Polar Bears totaled 193 points to defeat Husson (144), Colby (65) and New England College (36). First year Samantha Schaefer won both the 60 meter dash (8.25) and the 200 meters (27.28). Carolyn Brady ’19 won the triple jump (10.32 meters), setting a personal best.
“A definite strength this year is that the freshmen class is really strong,” said Sarah Kelley ’18. “A lot of girls have come in that have been really contributing.”
There are 13 first years in total this year, and Krupp agrees that this has been a huge development, helping the Polar Bears become a strong and well-rounded team with talent across many different events in both track and field.
Bowdoin won numerous first places on behalf of Allyson Fulton ’16 in the 400 meters, Meghan Bellerose ’17 in the 1000 meters, Kelley in the mile and Sarah Kinney ’19 in the 3000 meters. Bowdoin won the 4x200 meter relay, Sara Ory ’19, Shekinah Pettway ’18, Schaefer and Naomi Jabouin ’18 finishing in 1:52.17. The Polar Bears also received first-place finishes in the high jump on behalf of Addison Carvajal ’16, pole vault from Madeline Schuldt ’18 and long jump from Heather Chan ’17.
“[The success of that meet] gave people a lot of confidence going into the State Meet, where a lot of people rose to the challenge,” said Krupp. “A lot of people improved upon their seeds.”
At the Maine State Championship last Friday, Bowdoin finished third out of six team competing. Despite a lack of numbers, which is a potential disadvantage at a state meet where larger teams can enter more competitors, the Polar Bears earned seven first-places finishes out of 19 events, the highest number of first places of any team.
Krupp and Kelley were both double winners at the meet. Krupp claimed the state title in the long jump (5.36 meters) and the triple jump (11.55 meters), where she also set a new state meet record. Kelley set state meet records in the mile (4:59.96) and in the 1000 meters (2:55.29). Kelley is the third Bowdoin woman to cross the 5:00 barrier, falling six seconds short of breaking the record time set by Joan Benoit Samuelson ’79 in 1979. She also broke the Bowdoin record for the 1000 meters, last set in 2011 by Chantal Croteau ’12.
Another impressive event was the 4x400 meter relay race that Jabouin, Eleanor Brakewood ’19, Ory and Carvajal completed in 4:12.13, beating Bates by just over a second. In addition, senior Meredith Ott earned a personal best, placing sixth in the 5k and Bellerose won the 600 meter run (1:38.90).
“The captains this year have been great doing a lot more team bonding, which I think adds to cheering at meets and people performing their best,” said Kelley.
“I was impressed at the number of personal bests we had in the state meet across the events,” said Slovenski. “We like to be a well-balanced team, and I think we’ve had success in having improvement in all the event areas.”
Looking forward, the team will compete in the Dave Hemery Invitational at Boston University this weekend. The rest of the team’s meets will be away. According to Krupp, the team is excited to get on the road and compete against bigger schools outside of Maine.
“As a team, we’re hoping to perform well and place well at the New England Division III meet at Middlebury,” said Krupp. “That is a meet where having people who can perform at a high level in their events will really help us out.”
In addition, Slovenski said the team hopes to ultimately be in the top five out of the 25 teams in the region. Looking forward, he believes the team is rested and in a very good rhythm for championship races.
After stumbling through January, women’s hockey hopes to finish strong
The Bowdoin women’s ice hockey team has had a busy January, ending the month on a high note after beating Wesleyan at home 4-0 last Saturday following a 0-0 tie the day before. The team now sits fifth in the NESCAC with a conference record of 4-5-1 and an overall record of 7-8-2.
During Friday’s game against Wesleyan, both goalies kept their teams in the game. Bowdoin’s Sophia Lattanzio ’19 earned her first collegiate shutout, but Bowdoin was unable to score the go-ahead goal. As a result, the Polar Bears knew they had to raise their level of play going into Saturday. Miranda Bell ’18 scored first for Bowdoin after Marissa Fichter ’19 set up the play in the first period. During the second period, three goals were scored in six minutes; two back-to-back by captain Ariana Bourque ’16 followed by one from Julie Dachille ’18. Meanwhile, goalie Lan Crofton ’17 earned the team’s second shutout of the weekend.
“Everyone was just determined,” said Head Coach Marissa O’Neil of the 4-0 win. “At this time in the season, we know how valuable every game is and how every point in our conference truly matters when it comes down to the playoff seedings.”
The team also played extremely well during its Amherst weekend in the middle of January. Amherst was undefeated coming into the weekend, making the Polar Bears the underdogs. However, the Bears pulled out a close 3-2 victory in the first game. While they did lose on Saturday 3-1, O’Neil asserts that the Polar Bears outplayed Amherst and actually played better during the second game. She believes that since the team is very young, having a weekend like this was very important for team confidence.
“The atmosphere in the locker room was buzzing with excited energy, and we translated that energy well onto the ice,” said Bourque of the Friday game. “Not only was it our most fun game of the season, but we also showed that when we play to our full potential, we have the ability to beat any team in this competitive conference on any given day.”
Unfortunately, the team has faced trouble with injuries this season and are still not completely healthy. However, Bourque believes that being able to adjust to these setbacks will only help down the road in the postseason. Most of the injured players have rehabilitated themselves enough to be able to play through the pain, so the team has more numbers now than earlier in the season.
However, Bowdoin experienced a challenging weekend the following week at Middlebury, losing the first game 2-0 and the second 4-2. According to O’Neil, the team was not psychologically ready going into the weekend and suffered a mental and physical letdown. However, O’Neil believes that this should motivate the team if they face Middlebury again in the playoffs.
“We’ve struggled throughout the season with playing an entire 60 minutes of hockey,” said Maddy Hall ’17. “Oftentimes we won’t come out right away ready to play.”
Earlier this season, the team made a shift in strategy to having three defenders back. This alignment plays to the team’s strengths and has proved helpful offensively, keeping play alive in the opponent’s defensive zone. While it has taken some time getting used to, the Winter Break period helped the team settle into the system. Although the Polar Bears knew January would be a tough month, O’Neil noted that the team has worked together better during the last couple of weeks, which has led to overall improvement. Furthermore, the first years have stepped up to the challenge, learning and implementing the system and being thrown into leadership roles not typically given to underclassmen.
“We win as a team; we lose as a team,” said O’Neil. “[The team] wants to be there. They want to do well...they’ve certainly created an environment in which they can all thrive.”
Looking ahead, Bowdoin will be competing against conference opponents that are only separated by a few points in the standings. With a lot of parity in the conference, the rivalries are getting more heated as the competition grows.
“The biggest thing I think is that we’re each fired up and mentally prepared going into games,” said Hall. “We leave the ice knowing we gave it our all and played the way we know we can and should.”
Although the current goal is to host a quarterfinal game, the team plans to consistently come out ready for each game and to stay healthy. The Polar Bears hope to peak when it comes time for playoffs.
“We are in control of our own destiny for hosting the first round of the playoffs,” said Bourque. “This is a goal that we are working towards every day by focusing on what we know this team is capable of.”
Swimming and diving looks to gain late season edge
After wins against Trinity and Wesleyan last Saturday, both the men’s and the women’s swimming and diving teams have only one more regular season meet left, a match-up with rival Colby on Saturday, before postseason meets begin in February.
After Saturday’s meet, Bridget Killian ’16 was named the Small College Athletic Conference Performer of the Week for winning first place in each of her freestyle events and setting personal bests for the season.
Both the men’s and women’s teams have been motivated this year by the exciting end to last year’s season, when Caroline Watt ’18, Mariah Rawding ’16 and members of the women’s 200- and 400-freestyle relays made it all the way to the DIII Championships. After such a successful last season, the teams aim to reach the same level of competition and fitness by this year’s championship.
Senior captains Olivia Pfeifer ’16 and Lela Garner ’16 both noted that the team’s intensity has heightened this year, and practices have become much more difficult. Previously, they said, Head Coach Brad Burnham eased the team into the season in the beginning, while practices would gradually become more demanding; this year was different, with difficult and exhausting practices from day one.
“We work a lot harder, we practice a lot harder and we all motivate each other a lot,” said Pfeifer. “We’ve had a lot of really tough practices and a lot of really tough meets and people have really kept positive. I think that is probably the highlight for me so far.”
Both the men and women captains are impressed by the first years, who all come from different swimming backgrounds and levels, and have already broken school records. On the men’s team, first year Karl Sarier ’19 broke a team record for IM in the first meet. Beyond this, Lagasse notes that there have been impressive performances across the board and that they gained many valuable distance and IM swimmers this season.
Perhaps the most notable meet of the season was against Bates on January 15. The Bobcats have skyrocketed in competitiveness over time. Last year their women placed second in the NESCAC, and their men placed fifth. Given Bates’ success, the Polar Bears were happy with their result. In the end, the men came incredibly close to beating them, but lost by a point in the last race of the event.
“Working together, watching the men almost win against Bates, lose by a point…” said Pfeifer, “those kind of things motivate everyone to keep working hard even if there are point differentials.”
The meet revelaed both what the Polar Bears needed to improve on as well as the team’s competitive spirit, which will be needed to compete with higher-ranked teams in future meets. Both teams consist of 27 members, with 25 swimmers and two divers on each. Over Winter Break the teams spent seven days training in Florida before coming back to Bowdoin to continue practicing before the end of winter break.
“It’s the best training environment I’ve ever been a part of,” captain Lyle Anderson ’16 said.For both the men and the women, improvement is the goal. Senior captain John Lagasse ’16 explains that rather than having specific place or time goals, it is all about improving individually and as a team.
“I would say our team goal is just to continue to improve,” said Lagasse. “Whether it is in the pool timewise or out of the pool, just to have the best dynamic we can…We are definitely achieving that thus far.”
Burnham preaches this outlook to the members of the team.
“We tend to look for just how much better we can get,” said Burnham. “It is a matter of improving every day, getting a little better and trying to put together the best races they can.”The meets in the beginning of the season are not as significant as those at the end, aside from showing swimmers and divers what they need to improve.
“Swimming is a sport that really peaks toward the end of the season,” said Burnham. However, Garner notes that in the past few meets people have been improving in speed which makes them more excited for NESCACs.
While both teams have suffered setbacks from injuries and illnesses such as mono, both captains attest that they appear to be coming back stronger than ever for the end of the season.On January 30, both teams will compete against Colby in one last effort before the NESCAC Championship. Garner notes that the Colby pool is much more shallow than Bowdoin’s, but that this will be a perfect opportunity to get one more race practice in. After this last race, the teams will start the taper, which includes practices with less yardage, more sprints and lighter workouts so that the swimmers and divers are rested and ready to race.
One goal that the men have for NESCACs, besides improvement across the board, is to beat Bates, which they achieved two years ago but fell short of last year. The women are looking forward to having their very talented divers, Christine Andersen ’17 and Rebecca Stern ’19, compete this year, as last year both divers were injured. Pfeifer notes that at this point, preparation for NESCACs becomes a mental game after having done everything possible to improve throughout the season. The pressure is on, as Garner said, “Only our last meets at NESCACs matter.”
Football finishes season with blowout win over Colby
The football team ended its season on a high last Saturday, winning 35-13 against NESCAC rival Colby. Although the Polar Bears finished with a disappointing record of 2-6, the team believes this dominant week eight performance was indicative of improvement over the course of the season.
“We thought we were the better team, and if we executed what we had been talking about all week, then we would come out with a pretty big victory,” said captain Dan Barone ’16. “It was good to go out on a high note like that.”
According to Head Coach JB Wells, the win can be attributed to an all-around team effort. The defensive line played particularly well, holding star Colby running back Jabari Hurdle-Price to 72 yards on the day. Linebackers Brendan Lawler ’16, who finished with 12 tackles, and Branden Morin ’16 helped lead the defensive effort in the final game of their college careers.
Offensively, quarterback Tim Drakeley ’17 completed 24 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns—all career highs. According to Barone, receivers Seamus Power ’16 and Nick Vailas ’18 helped Drakeley with big catches throughout the game that sparked momentum in the offense. Tight end Bryan Porter ’18 also had a big day, finishing with six catches for 95 yards and a score.
“It was as complete a game as we’ve played,” said Wells. “They did a great job of putting it all together in their last game and beating a big rival. For the seniors’ last game, it was a great way to go out.”
Coming off of a 31-0 loss to another NESCAC rival, Bates, the Polar Bears showed resiliency in quickly shifting their focus to the showdown with Colby.
“We’ve been trying to get the guys to think in terms of each week as a season and to not look ahead or behind, just to focus on the moment,” said Wells. “They’ve been good at that. Every Monday was like a new week.”
The team seems to have bought into this outlook. Even when the team suffered a loss, Wells believes that they almost always demonstrated improvement in some way with each new game. In addition, there was a change in team culture and identity this season.
“Any time you bring in a new coaching staff, there’s definitely going to be some changes,” said Barone. “[There was] more of an emphasis than we’ve ever had on establishing an identity of the team and a culture of the team. I think that’s what Coach Wells’ biggest goal was of the year.”
Arguably, the low point of the season was the Bates game, which Wells believes is the one game where the team did not improve from the previous one. High points were the Homecoming Weekend win against Hamilton and now the win against Colby, bouncing back after the tough loss.
“The record wasn’t where we wanted it to be, but I think the team did a good job of progressing in their mentality and the culture of the team,” said Barone. “It was good to see that despite some difficult losses.”
Wells believes the end-of-season losing record is a sign of good things to come for the program.
“You either motivate the off-season based off of a loss or based off of a win,” said Wells. “In the last week of the year, things we had been trying to instill in the team came full circle where they were doing what we wanted them to do.”
“Hopefully, in five years we can look back on the program and see some of the things we started and see how they’ve grown,” said Barone.
Wells plans to take the work the team did during this year’s offseason to another level in order to prepare for the next season. In addition, the Polar Bears have strong candidates at the quarterback position; both Drakeley and Noah Nelson ’19 started four games this year. Wells sees this competition as a positive, and hopes Drakeley and Nelson will continue to push each other throughout the offseason and into the 2016 campaign.
Nelson ’19 leads football to win in 1st career start
Noah Nelson ’19 played an outstanding first college career game during Homecoming Weekend this Saturday, leading the team to its first victory of the season against Hamilton (0-4). The Polar Bears won the contest 30-20 . During this single game, he threw four touchdowns on 28-43 passing and threw 328 yards total—the record high for any Bowdoin first year. This game was the first time in Bowdoin football history that a first year quarterback has passed the ball over a distance of 300 yards. The victory improves Bowdoin’s season record to 1-3.
Nelson came to Bowdoin this fall after attending Falmouth High School in Falmouth, Maine, where he competed on the football team. Nelson has been playing football since fifth grade and has played quarterback since sixth grade. In high school, his team progressed each season, collectively improving each year. Since coming to Bowdoin, Nelson has been the back-up quarterback. The game against Hamilton was Nelson’s first opportunity to step up and demonstrate his abilities. According to Head Coach JB Wells, Nelson exceeded expectations.
“I’m seeing what I saw from Noah as a high school player,” said Wells. “He plays like he’s been there before, and that’s always good to have as a young player.”
Wells said that going into the game and the season in general, everyone had high expectations for Nelson. He performed impressively and had a strong preseason.
When Tim Drakeley ’17 was injured during a game against Tufts, Nelson stepped up to the position of starting quarterback and performed well in that capacity. During this time, Wells noted that he was very efficient, moved the ball and was accurate in his passing.
“I felt confident out there. I felt comfortable,” said Nelson. “The seniors played really well, and the offensive line played really well, so I feel like all that working together contributed to the good teamwork and results.”
In last Saturday’s game, Wells pinpoints one play in particular as a standout, when Nelson made an impressive pass under pressure to Andrew Tichy ’19.
“That play right there was under pressure; they had good defense against it,” said Wells. “They had us outnumbered, and Noah still was able to pull it off and make a play out of it."
While one might expect nerves to play a factor for a first year quarterback, Nelson didn’t find this game very nerve-wracking, despite it being the first game of his college career.
“I actually didn’t feel that much pressure,” Nelson said. “Mostly because I felt we had nothing to lose. Stepping in as a first year, I just thought, I’ll give it my best shot, whatever happens, happens.”
According to Wells, Nelson’s stable and controlled nature is one of his major strength that defines him as a player. Wells also noted Nelson’s great leadership, a quality that is crucial to have in the position of quarterback.
“His biggest attribute is that he’s calm under fire, and he exudes that to the rest of the offense,” said Wells.
After Noah’s performance this weekend, he will now start as quarterback. Looking forward, Bowdoin will play at Trinity this weekend, a team that has always been at the top of the conference and is strong defensively. Wells expects to see the Bantams come after Nelson and to pressure, challenge and blitz him. Nevertheless, Nelson will focus on maintaining the grace under pressure that he exhibited this past weekend.
Men’s soccer confident facing crucial stretch
Bowdoin men’s soccer (5-3-2, 1-3-2 NESCAC)—the reigning NESCAC champions—face four crucial conference games that will determine the team’s chances of qualifying for this year’s NESCAC tournament. Currently, the team sits at tenth in the conference standings and are not qualified for the tournament, a position that both Head Coach Scott Wiercinski and captain Andrew Jones ’16 believe is not illustrative of the team’s skill. Only the top eight teams in the conference qualify for the post-season tournament. The Polar Bears will play Hamilton this Saturday, followed by Colby, Connecticut College and Tufts in the coming weeks.
Despite a lower than-anticipated ranking, the team has consistently exhibited good playing this season.
“Other than a few blips on the screen, we’ve been playing consistently well to very well,” said Wiercinski. “I think this is what fuels the optimism for the year and for the games remaining.”“We are confident in what we have been doing this season,” Jones said. “Although we haven’t been getting the results, we have been playing at a good standard of soccer. Moving forward, it’s going to come together.”
Jones notes that the team’s strength is in being well-balanced and versatile. The team possesses size, speed and good technical players who are tactically smart and able to adapt to different styles of play. In addition, the defense has been a strength for the team, only giving up six goals in total. Before this weekend, it had never given up two in one game. However, the team has struggled to create chances in the offense and to follow through to score. According to Jones, it only takes a few seconds for something to change the whole game.
“It comes down to those moments in a game,” said Jones. “Putting in a 90-minute performance every game and bringing the same energy, playing to a standard, is something we can improve on.”
This energy was demonstrated during the team’s recent win against Babson on Monday. While the team got off to a slow start, the Polar Bears scored four goals in the second half.
“Starting at halftime, our energy was fantastic,” said Wiercinski. “We thought a lot less and just played with our legs and with our hearts. As a result of that, things started to feel more natural and more instinctual.”
According to Wiercinski, during these goals, the team did the right thing at the right moment. Wiercinski hopes the energy, goal-scoring and overall level of play the team during this half of the Babson game can be replicated in the future.
In order to compete against these four teams, the team will take it game-by-game and continue the basic strategy they have been using: passing the ball, playing aggressive defense and trying to create chances. According to Jones, two of the most competitive teams, Connecticut College and Tufts, both have strong midfields, meaning that Bowdoin will have to up its defensive strategy.
“[Connecticut College and Tufts] actually like to play soccer, not just kick and run,” Jones said. “In some ways, we feel like the season is just getting started,” said Wiercinski. “We’re learning a lot about ourselves, and we’re ready to extend our season significantly.”
Mills ’09 applies love of teaching to the field
“Someone once said to me: coaching is just teaching in shorts, and it really is,” Men’s Soccer Assistant Coach Peter Mills ’09 said.
It’s Mills’ sixth year coaching at Bowdoin, but he’s been a Polar Bear for much longer than that. He graduated Bowdoin in 2009 with a history major and an education minor.
“As an alum, when players are going through midterms, I know what they are going through,” said Mills.
In addition, Mills said he appreciates the smaller rewards that come from coaching, such as watching a player have a really great practice, or seeing somebody unexpectedly step up in a game.
“It’s really about the relationships you form with players and seeing them grow,” said Mills. “Finding that harmony with players will allow your team to achieve their highest potential.”
Mills’ Bowdoin soccer connections had a lasting influence. Fran O’Leary, the men’s soccer head coach until 2013 (and Mills’ own coach from his Bowdoin career), was a large part of his decision to return to to coach Bowdoin.
“[Coach O’Leary] was an adult that I could trust who was really influential in my life,” said Mills. “The opportunity to come back and work for him at Bowdoin was something that was very difficult to say no to.”
A Brunswick native, Mills looked for teaching jobs in Maine upon graduation, wanting to stay close to home. He taught seventh grade social studies at Memorial Middle School in South Portland and later started coaching soccer at Portland High School, which sparked his passion for coaching.
He began coaching here in the summer of 2010. One of his most memorable experiences was during his first year back at Bowdoin, when the team went to the final four of the NCAA tournament in San Antonio, Texas. That season, he had the unique opportunity to coach some of the players he had played with side by side when he was a student.
Mills also noted the excitement of last season, when Bowdoin won the NESCAC Championship for the first time in the men’s soccer program’s history. He said that the seniors on the team last season had worked extremely hard since their first year in 2011, when the team had one of its poorer seasons score-wise.
The ability to see them grow and watch their effort pay off was extremely rewarding for Mills as a coach, and he believes the team leaders in the Class of 2015 played a key role in shaping the team’s culture today.
So far this season, the team has a record of 2-2-1 after a 0-0 draw at home against Bates on Wednesday. Mills acknowledged the challenging schedule ahead of them, and expects the team to play at the high level that he knows they are capable of.
Ana Leon ’16 to compete in ultimate frisbee national tournament
Ana Leon ’16 traveled home to Atlanta, Georgia last weekend to compete with her Atlanta-based ultimate frisbee team Bucket in the club division regionals tournament. The team took home first prize. Leon and Bucket will go on to play in the Nationals tournament the weekend of October 1-4.
Though spring is the competitive season for college teams, including Bowdoin’s Chaos Theory, independent club teams compete from summer into fall.
Bucket finished first in this weekend’s tournament after playing six games over the course of two days. The team needed to win the tournament in order to proceed to Nationals, as the Southwest region only received one bid.
Leon joined Bucket--one of the most elite mixed club teams in the South--in summer 2014. The team consists of 26 players, with an equal number of women and men on the squad. The players are largely from the Atlanta area. Unlike college teams, club teams draw from players of all ages-Bucket is made up of players who are mostly in their mid-to-late 20s and early 30s.
“The biggest difference is that these people have been playing for at least four or five years,” said Leon. “Some of them have been playing for as long as I have been alive, so it’s been really nice to play with people who know so much more about the game than I do.”
Bucket’s season started in mid-June and will end with Nationals. Tournaments are mainly held regionally in the South, but the schedule also incorporates larger national tournaments, such as a tournament in Colorado earlier this year.
Nationals will feature 16 teams from all regions of the country. Leon says she believes Bucket will land in the top ten at Nationals.
Frisbee players are either designated as a handler or a cutter. Handlers are the players who throw, while the cutters try to escape the defense and catch the disk up the field. As Leon has grown as a player and developed her throw, she has switched positions several times. While she is technically a cutter at Bowdoin, she is now the defensive line handler on Bucket, checking the opponent’s best attackers and opening counterattacks with long throws.
As one of Chaos Theory’s two captains, Leon spends a great deal of her time at practice teaching the game and leading the team.
“Outside of Bowdoin frisbee, [Bucket] has been a time for me to step back from my captain or coach role and just play again,” said Leon.
The game strategy and style of play also differs between the two teams. Leon points out that the mixed-gender nature of Bucket’s competition makes a large difference.
“I really like playing mixed because it seems like it’s a faster paced game,” said Leon.
Leon said her defending duties are made more challenging due to this faster pace as well as the tendency of men to launch longer and deeper throws. When a player cuts deep, he or she is able to stay open for longer because the men are able to throw longer.
Taking on the responsibility of Chaos co-captain with Hannah LeBlanc ’16, Leon notes the difficulty they face in playing the “dual role” of acting as both the coaching figures and also contributing members of the team. She and the other veterans are more responsible for translating what they know to the new players, who may not have even touched a Frisbee before coming to Bowdoin. While challenging, she cherishes her tenure on the Bowdoin team
“It’s a great experience,” Leon said, “And it is truly rewarding to see everybody grow.”
In 2014, Leon told the Orient that her goal as a player was to become more versatile, and this year she going after that goal by trying out different positions from week to week.
“I had never been a handler before for a club team or even here at Bowdoin. I’ve had the experience of starting off as a defensive cutter and then going to an offensive cutter and then being a defensive handler,” said Leon, “It’s really nice to move around, and I’m lucky to have that opportunity.”
One of Leon’s greatest strengths is field awareness, something that the chaotic nature of ultimate Frisbee makes a rare and valuable skill. She has made it a goal to be able to “see how one player’s movements affect another.” In this way, Leon stays one or two moves ahead of the game, and moves the disc in a way that will involve the entire team.
Looking forward, Leon is unsure how long she will continue with Bucket, as it depends on her post-graduation plans. Regardless, she plans to continue her passion for ultimate Frisbee.“I know I will end up playing somewhere, no matter where I am,” said Leon.
Addison Carvajal ’16 selected as Rugby All-American
This summer, Addison Carvajal ’16 of the women’s rugby team was named a 2014-2015 USA Rugby Collegiate All-American, an honor that only 55 college players and two New England Small College Rugby Conference athletes received.
Before coming to Bowdoin, Carvajal had never played the sport. In fact, she was recruited for track and field and also tried out for the soccer team. Asked to try rugby by many friends and peers, Carvajal said she “was vehemently against it.” Wanting to play a serious sport, she did not think rugby would meet the standards and levels of competition that she was used to.Luckily, her sophomore year, Carvajal’s friend convinced her.
“I loved it the second I started playing,” said Carvajal. “It was a very athletic sport, there was strategy, anything you could possibly want in a team sport.”
Since then, Addison has played a different position each year. She started as an open-side flanker, and was moved to the outside center in the backline, and this year she will change yet again to the position of fullback.
Head Coach of Women’s Rugby MaryBeth Mathews noted the impressiveness of Carvajal’s ability to adapt and her willingness to try to learn a new position each year while learning the sport.
“Even as a new player, with her athletic abilities and her speed, she was an asset on the team,” said Mathews.
Since she started, Carvajal has developed immensely as a player.
“When I first started,” said Carvajal, “I pretty much thought if you just put the ball in my hands, I’ll run forward and score...and not have to do anything else.”
However, Carvajal explained that she has learned the importance of seeing the field and working with her teammates in order for success to happen. Mathews noted Carvajal’s “determination to be good at what she is doing,” often staying late at practice, asking questions and constantly striving to be better.
The All-American award is not the first time Carvajal has been recognized for her rugby abilities. Carvajal attributes much of the recognition she has received to Coach Mathews, who put her name out to the coaches of the U.S. national team and launched her into that pool of players to be recognized. As a result, last year she was invited to train with the U.S.A. Rugby National 7s Team at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and had access to an intense week of training with national coaches and players.
As a junior, Carvajal was also invited to the National All-Star Camp, which she attended in Colorado in August. At the camp, she had further coaching and experienced a higher level of competition in both 15s and 7s rugby.
“Just being exposed to those coaches and having literally the best training of rugby in the United States is really really lucky,” said Carvajal. “I try to take as much of what I learn and bring it back to this team. I see it as an opportunity to make the team that I’m on, and that I love, better.”
“Going to the sevens camp a year ago was beneficial for her catching and passing, which then allowed her to be more successful in her new position in the backfield,” Mathews said.“She strives to be very good at what she is doing,” she continued. “She is committed to her team—she will not let them down—and she is a smart athlete.”
Carvajal says that the All-American honor has given her motivation for her senior year campaign, especially as she undergoes the positional change to fullback.“It relieves me a little; it gives me a lot of confidence that they recognize that I do know what I’m doing out there,” said Carvajal.
Mathews said rugby is a bit like a chess match: it’s a game where intelligent players learn how to maneuver and manipulate defenses in order to exploit weaknesses and get ahead. Along with her teammates, Carvajal exhibits these skills necessary to succeed in the sport. Beyond Carvajal’s athletic ability, footwork, strength and speed, Mathews applauded her leadership and work ethic.
“She is a good role model, and a vocal one on the pitch, which is very important in rugby,” Mathews said. “She understands what the controllables are and what the uncontrollables are. Her strong voice from fullback will be an asset to the team this season.”After graduation this year, Carvajal plans to re-evaluate the commitment of playing rugby on a national level.
“An opportunity like the Olympics or even just training with people like that is a once in a lifetime thing,” said Carvajal. “So my view is that if I’m healthy I’m going to go for it for as long as I can and see where it takes me.”
Frisbee teams to compete in Nationals
The men’s and women’s ultimate Frisbee club teams both qualified for the D-III Nationals last weekend and will compete on May 16 and 17 in Rockport, Illinois.
“It’s a really exciting time,” said captain of the women’s team Sivana Barron ’15. “I think both teams put a lot of work into trying to manage their expectations and also doing their best to accomplish what they set out to do.”
The women competed in nationals last year and came in 15th place, after winning the entire tournament the year before. This is the first time in three years that the men have qualified for Nationals. The tournament lasts two days and includes 16 D-III teams for both the men and women.
For both teams, the competitive season begins during second semester and continues until the end of March. After that the teams compete in tournaments and finish the season at Nationals.
As club teams schedules are independently organized. The captains therefore hold a lot of responsibility and leadership.
“Most of organizing tournaments, paying tournament fees and advocating for ourselves as a club—that all falls on the captains,” said captain of the men’s team Denis Maguire ’15.
There are four captains of each team—two seniors and two juniors. When the seniors graduate the teams already have two experienced leaders for the following year.
The women’s team is one of the few teams in the league that doesn’t have a coach. It is up to the captains to make decisions as a coach figure.
“We do a lot of logistics, lots of planning,” said Barron. “But we also do a lot to figure out which players work best with each other…a lot of the strategy.”
Meanwhile, for the past two years the men’s team has hired coaches that play on the Portland club team, Red Tide. Maguire said that this is helpful during tournaments as it allows the captains to focus on playing the game instead of calling lines and substitutes.
Although the season starts second semester, the teams begin practicing in the fall, mainly to develop the new players. They draw in first years and other new players using posters, advertising at the Student Activities Fair, and practicing on the quad to create visibility. The sport is somewhat unique in that it is typical for players to have no experience before starting college ultimate Frisbee.
Both ultimate teams have achieved notable successes this year. The women’s team holds an official season record of 17-7 and the men’s team has a record of 16-5.
A tough obstacle the men's team overcame to get to Nationals was its game against Brandeis.
“In pool play we beat them 13-12, which was huge for us because it helped us advance to nationals,” said Maguire. “They are definitely one of the hardest teams we’ve faced so far.”
“The level of competition in Division III has really kicked it up a notch within the last three years,” women’s senior captain Molly Sun noted.
Both captains noted that for the women, offense comes pretty easily. As a result, in preparation for nationals the team will focus on defense, technique and positioning.
“We’re hoping to face off against Williams,” added Sun. “We’re definitely really hoping to beat them there. We had a close loss to them at Regionals, so we’re definitely out for revenge.”
Maguire said that one of the main goals for the men’s side is to keep everyone healthy and overcome season injuries. They will also be working on zone offense, which is important in the windy conditions they will be playing with in Illinois.
“We’ve had experience going against top level Division III teams,” said Maguire. “We think we can compete and win against any team in the country in any given game.”
Tennis teams stay strong into final weekend
The women’s tennis team hosted Middlebury College this past Saturday in a rematch of last year’s NCAA Regional Final and beat the Panthers 7-2. The Polar Bears continued their win streak with a dominating win against Tufts (3-5 NESCAC, 6-8 overall).
The No. 8 Polar Bears (5-1 NESCAC, 12-3 overall) took down Middlebury in an impressive sweep of doubles play and four wins in singles action. The loss dropped the No. 9 Panthers to 8-5 (3-2 NESCAC).
Joulia Likhanskaia ’17 and Tiffany Cheng ’16 won their match at No. 1 doubles and Tess Trinka ’18 and Kyra Silitch ’17 defeated their opponents at No. 2 doubles. Chow and Giffenig also got a victory at No. 3 doubles.
Likhanskaia earned the No. 1 singles win with her three-set victory at 6-3, 2-6, and 7-5. Trinka won the No. 3 singles match in straight sets with scores of 6-3, 6-2, along with Silitch at number five with scores of 6-4, 6-3, and Giffening at No. 6 with scores 6-2, 6-4.
In the win against Tufts the team continued its dominance in doubles, wininng all three matches. Trinka and Silitch’s win stretched the pair’s undefeated win streak to 10. In singles, Samantha Stalder ’17 got back on track, winning her match after losing 7-5 in the decisive third set against Middlebury.
The team finishes its regular season at No. 3 ranked undefeated Williams (16-0 overall, 5-0 NESCAC) tomorrow at 10 a.m.
Last week the men’s tennis team split its two matches, suffering an 8-1 loss at home to Middlebury last Saturday but defeating Washington and Lee 6-3 on Tuesday.
The No. 8 Polar Bears (11-4, 4-3 NESCAC) fought in a tough match Saturday against the No. 6 Panthers (16-2, 6-0 NESCAC), resulting in Bowdoin’s third NESCAC loss.
The Polar Bears struggled right out of the gate in doubles matches, losing all three of the matchups. The No. 1 doubles team of Luke Tercek ’18 and Luke Trinka ’16 lost after a tie break. During the singles matches, Noah Bragg ’15, Kyle Wolstencroft ’15, Tercek and Gil Roddy ’18 all lost close three-set matches. At No. 1 singles, Trinka lost 6-2, 6-3. Bragg fought through three sets at No. 2 singles, coming back from opening losses but finally losing 6-2, 7-5, 10-8. Wolfe played at No. 3 singles and lost 6-2, 6-2, followed by a victory by Tercek at fourth singles.
Tercek, at No. 4, won straight sets 6-3, 6-2, securing the only point for the Polar Bears. Wolstencroft and Roddy each played three sets at five and six, finishing with scores of 6-1, 7-5, 10-8 and 6-3, 6-0, 10-7 respectively, both in Middlebury’s favor.
On Tuesday, the Polar Bears made up for the Middlebury loss with a 6-3 home victory against 32-ranked Washington and Lee (12-7). This victory improves their season record to 11-4.
During the doubles competition, Trinka and Tercek lost 8-5, a rough start for Bowdoin. However, Wolstencroft and Roddy won 8-5 in second doubles, and Wolfe and Bragg cruised to an 8-2 victory in third doubles. Bowdoin sealed a 6-3 victory by taking four out of six singles matches in straight sets.
The team will host Tufts today.
Sailing struggles during weekend of windy conditions
The Bowdoin sailing team competed in two regattas in shifty wind conditions last weekend. In the Fowle Trophy regatta, which was the first New England championship of the spring, the co-ed team finished eleventh out of twelve teams.
The women’s team had a little more luck, finishing thirteenth out of eighteen teams at the Emily Wick Trophy, which is an inter-conference regatta hosted by Coast Guard on the Thames River. It features 18 of the top women’s teams in the country.
On the first day of the regatta, 20 races were held against a West-Northwest breeze that shifted between five and 25 knots throughout the day.
“We struggled a little bit just because we’re not used to sailing in big breeze,” said Ellis Price ’18. “But we had some strong moments.”
The A-division sailed Z420 boats, while the B-division sailed FJ boats. The competing teams switched fleets for the last eight races in each division that were held the following Sunday. On the second day of the regatta, the racing conditions had improved. Yale finished in first place, winning the trophy for the third year in a row.
According to Head Coach Frank Pizzo, the Polar Bears had a few good races during this regatta, but had trouble on the starting line and struggled with sailing good first beats. The team consisted of Erin Mullins ’16, Dana Bloch ’17, Lizzy Hamilton ’15, Courtney Koos ’16, and Price.
“[There were] pretty wacky conditions,” said Price. “The wind was oscillating a lot. So we were practicing for that because our qualifier is coming up…it will probably be in a breezy area.”
Koos noted that this weekend was not typical of the women’s team, which is ranked third in the country for collegiate sailing according to Sailing World Coaches’ Poll.
“At the end of the day,” Koos said, “One weekend is not indicative of a twenty-two week season.”
Meanwhile, the co-ed team competed at the Fowle Trophy hosted by Harvard on the Charles River, which was a Conference Championship Regatta. Bowdoin was competing against the top twelve teams in New England, who are all considered top-level teams in the country.
60 races were held on Saturday, with breeze from the West and Northwest ranging from eight to 25 knots, and six more races remained for the following Sunday. The top eight teams at the finish qualified for the next round of the Conference Championship. The Polar Bears did not advance, but Price said they did notably better than they did last year. Pizzo noted that they had good wins against Connecticut College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
This team consisted of mostly skippers, featuring Jack McGuire ’17, Michael Croteau ’15, Harrison Hawk ’18, Charlotte Williamson ’15, Matt Lyons ’17, Mimi Paz ’17, Jake Griffin ’18, Julia Rew ’16, and Chester Jacobs ’17.
Pizzo said the Polar Bears are lucky that four of these six starters will be returning next season, which will help build the race team’s strength and development.
“We are very focused on learning from the conditions at the regattas,” said Price. “We’re not necessarily focused on the results. Obviously we want to do well…but we are focusing on what we can improve on.”
“Every weekend we go to regattas with the mindset that we want to get better, to finish the season on the best note possible,” Koos added.
Both teams are taking advantage of the next few weeks to prepare for their national qualifiers. The women’s qualifier will take place on April 24 at Boston College, while the co-ed team will compete on May 2 at Yale.
“Going into this weekend the big focus is on honing in our skills in heavy air. I think a lot of sailing ends up being a mental game too,” said Koos.
This coming weekend, the sailing team will compete in three different events: the Navy Spring at Navy, the President’s Trophy at Boston University and the Oberg Trophy at Northeastern.
Men’s tennis races past Brandeis, ranked No. 8
The men’s tennis team won their sixth match in a row on Saturday with a 9-0 victory against Brandeis (6-8) before falling to Bates 6-3 yesterday.
The Brandeis contest was the team’s second to last non-conference match of the regular season. Seven of their last eight matches will be against NESCAC opponents. The win against Brandeis improved Bowdoin’s record to 8-1 the season; the loss at Bates, however, leaves them 2-1 in the NESCAC.
The team went into the match knowing that Brandeis was a strong team. Brandeis had just beaten Tufts, a team ranked 23rd in the country, so the Polar Bears believed that they were in for a challenge.
“We knew that Brandeis was a team that could beat us if we didn’t show up to play,” said Chase Savage ’16.
The Polar Bears took control of the match from the beginning and won all three doubles matches. Luke Trinka ’16 and Luke Turcek ’18 won their first doubles match 8-6, followed by Kyle Wolstencroft ’15 and Gil Roddy ’18 at second doubles, who won 8-4, and Savage and Kyle Wolfe ’18 at third doubles pulling through with an 8-2 win.
During the singles matches, all players dominated. Trinka was victorious at first singles with scores 6-3 and 6-2, followed by second singles Noah Bragg with 6-1 and 6-2, and Wolfe at third singles with 6-2 and 6-1. Savage followed at fourth singles winning 6-2 and 6-2, Wolstencroft at fifth singles winning the closest individual match of the day 7-6 and at 6-3, and Tercek only letting up one game at sixth singles with 6-1 and 6-0.
Against Bates, one of the stronger doubles teams in New England, the Polar Bears went down 2-1 in doubles after the Bobcats won the first doubles match in a tiebreaker, ultimately falling 6-3. The three wins came from the doubles team of Wolstencroft and Roddy at second doubles, Bragg in second singles and Wolfe at third singles.
The team has two conference matches this weekend, traveling to Hamilton tomorrow and Amherst on Sunday.
Editor's note: A previous version of this article stated that the doubles win against Bates came from the doubles team of Wolstencroft and Wolfe. The pairing was in fact Wolstencroft and Roddy.
Women’s basketball’s run ends in Sweet 16
After a loss in the NESCAC championship and two NCAA tournament wins, the women’s basketball team fell in the Sweet Sixteen, finishing its season with an impressive overall record of 25-5. This season was the first time the team reached the 25-win plateau since 2007, and it was its 11th-ever appearance in the Sweet 16.
The Polar Bears’ 23-4 pre-tournament record earned them the distinction of being a host site for an NCAA regional game, so they played their first two tournament games in the familiar confines of Morrell Gymnasium where they defeated Babson 70-57 and Ithaca 71-66 before falling at Montclair State, 61-54.
Against Babson, senior Sara Binkhorst led the Polar Bears to victory with 19 points. Sophomore Marle Curle also added five assists. Bowdoin outmuscled the Beavers on its way to a 43-32 rebounding advantage.
The Bears’ second-round game against Ithaca was a nail-biter the whole way through. Bowdoin trailed 66-63 with two minutes remaining when Curle caught a pass deep beyond the arc and drained a game-tying three.
On the team’s next possession, Curle dribbled off a pick at the top of the key and again pulled the trigger, nailing another long-range bomb to put the Bears up for good. Curle finished with a career-high 23 points and five rebounds. Shannon Brady ’18 added 21 points and Kate Kerrigan ’18 contributed 11 points and eight rebounds.
“I thought they were a phenomenal team,” said Head Coach Adrienne Shibles of Ithaca. “I thought the team showed a lot of poise down the stretch to come back and win that game. That was certainly a highlight of our season.”
Finally, the team faced Montclair State who took over offensively in the first half, leaving Bowdoin behind 33-18 by halftime. In the second half, the Polar Bears nearly pulled off a comeback to win the game, but Montclair’s four free throws extended their lead to eight points to win the game. Binkhorst led the team again with 15 points, followed by 13 points from Marle Curle ’17. Despite making 77 percent of their free throws this season, the Polar Bears shot only 9-17 from the charity stripe against Montclair.
“There is an element of disappointment,” Shibles said. “And yet we accomplished a great deal and there is a lot to build on for next season.
“The great thing about my job is that every year is a new journey with a different group of women,” she added. “This has been one of the most enjoyable years that I’ve had as a professional coach. It was a joy to walk into practice every day.”
“Making it to Sweet 16 was an amazing accomplishment—one that everyone should be extremely proud of,” said Binkhorst. “Particularly, winning those first two games in Morrell after having a disappointing loss in the first round at home last year.”
“That [mentality] gave us the competitiveness and drive we needed,” Brady added. “Our practices were sometimes more physical than our games.”
The end of this season marks the end of the careers of the team’s three seniors, Megan Phelps, Siena Mitman, and Binkhorst.
“It really was tough to see it come to an end,” said Binkhorst. “Overall, I just feel very lucky to have had such an amazing experience not just this season but all four years.”
“You can’t say that the loss of the three seniors isn’t goingto affect us,” said Brady. “I think what they have taught us and left with us through their leadership and through example will 100 percent carry on through next year.”
Shibles noted that Curle has already emerged as a real leader for the team during this season amid the team’s the loss of Phelps to an ankle injury in the middle of the season, one of the many obstacles that the team overcame.
“I’m most proud of the way they represented Bowdoin,” said Shibles. “And they just carry themselves with a lot of character and class. Every time we met a challenge they responded in a really positive way and they stuck together, and I’m really proud of that.”
Furthermore, Binkhorst and Brady were honored by the New England Women’s Basketball Association (NEWBA), and D3Hoops.com in the Regional Awards last Sunday. Binkhorst was named Player of the Year, and Brady was selected as a NEWBA First Team All-Region choice. Binkhorst was recognized as First Team All-Northeast Region, and Brady as Second Team All-Northeast.
Women’s basketball storms through Midd
The women’s basketball team will play Amherst at 4 p.m. tomorrow in the NESCAC semifinals after defeating Middlebury 80-52 at home last Saturday. The Middlebury win marked Bowdoin’s fifteenth consecutive trip to the semifinals of the NESCAC tournament play. It is the only team to reach the second weekend every season that the NESCAC championship has been held.
Last Saturday’s game was a huge score increase from the team’s last matchup against the Panthers, when the Polar Bears won 53-43. The game was also a step forward from last weekend’s loss against Tufts.
“I do think it was a response to not playing our best against Middlebury the first contest,” said Head Coach Adrienne Shibles. “Also some of the things that we recognized in our game against Tufts we really needed to improve on. The team worked very hard all week on those items, specifically on the defensive end, and I think it really showed in the game.”
The last time the two teams faced off, the Panthers were missing a key player and point guard, Christina Nowak.
“The fact that they had her back this time and we won in such dramatic fashion I think shows the improvement of our team in those areas—rebounding and defense,” added Shibles.The game was closest during the first half Bowdoin kept a lead but Middlebury followed close behind. The Panthers scored a three-point shot and brought the score to 26-22 with only seven minutes remaining. However, Bowdoin’s strong defense only let up five more points from Middlebury before the half. The Polar Bears scored 18 more points in the same time. Sydney Hancock ’17 made a 30-foot buzzer-beater jump shot, and the Polar Bears closed the half ahead 44-27.
During the second half, the Polar Bears continued with unrelenting defensive intensity and offensive execution led by Shannon Brady ’16 with 25 points and eight rebounds. In addition, Ally Silfen ’17 scored 17 points off the bench. Kate Kerrigan ’18 followed with eight points, five assists and 11 rebounds.
Bowdoin was outstanding in rebounds during this game, and outscored Middlebury with a 50-29 rebounding advantage, including 27 offensive rebounds.
The Polar Bears also exceeded the Panthers in field goal percentage, holding 43 percent against Middlebury’s 37 percent.
“Megan [Phelps] was our leading rebounder and really brought a presence to the paint,” said Shibles of dealing with the loss of their injured starting senior. “So that has been something we have had to really focus on, step up, and everyone has had to really improve.”
Looking forward, the Polar Bears will play against Amherst at Tufts for the semifinal game on Saturday.
“Winning NESCAC championships is something we’ve worked for very hard this season,” said Kerrigan. “It’s been one of our goals that we’re trying to accomplish. The semifinals is just another game in the way of that goal.”
The result of this game will determine which team goes to the final round. Last weekend, Amherst beat Colby 62-40 in order to advance to the semifinals. During their last matchup, Bowdoin beat Amherst (23-2, 8-2 NESCAC) in a successful but close game, winning 60-51.“Every game is critical at this point,” said Shibles. “Our number one focus is going to be on Amherst and they are really hot right now…If [the team is] well prepared, my goal is that they can just relax, enjoy the moment, and play to their potential.”
Kerrigan is hopeful that the team will perform well.
“It’s all about the preparation,” Kerrigan added. “And if we execute the way we can, and play the way we can, we should come out with a victory.”
Women's basketball to host Middlebury tomorrow
Playing its second weekend without captain Megan Phelps ’15, who was injured the week before, women’s basketball beat Bates (9-14, 0-9 NESCAC) 74-67 last Friday. However on Saturday, they lost their last regular season game to Tufts (23-1, 10-0) in a battle of the only two remaining undefeated teams in the NESCAC 55-56, ending their 18-game win streak. The Polar Bears finished with a regular season record of 21-3 (9-1 NESCAC).
Sara Binkhorst ’15 set a single-game school record with seven three pointers at Bates, and became the 14th Bowdoin player to score over 1,000 career points a day later at Tufts.
At Bates, Bowdoin started strong, with Binkhorst and Kate Kerrigan ’18 scoring the first 12 points of the game. Bates went on a few runs to tighten the gap to 22-18, but Bowdoin responded, increasing its lead to 28-18. The Polar Bears held a comfortable 35-25 halftime lead.
“I thought we had maybe the strongest start of our season against Bates,” said Head Coach Adrienne Shibles.
Binkhorst kicked off the second half by stretching Bates’ defense with multiple three pointers on her way to a team leading 29 points in the game. Shannon Brady ’16 and Kerrigan added 15 and 13 points, respectively. Bates’ biggest weapon was first year Nina Davenport, who scored a total of 34 points in the game.
In the second half, the Bobcats came back with a nine-point run, giving them a 60-59 lead with less than five minutes to play. But Binkhorst responded with a 15-foot jump shot to take back a lead that Bowdoin would never relinquish.
In field goals, Bowdoin’s 42.4 percent just surpassed Bates 41.4 percent, and the Polar Bears led 36-32 in rebounds.
Shibles spoke about Binkhorst’s performance after the game.
“She’s very deserving of that record because she works incredibly hard,” said Shibles. “I thought she brought incredible mental toughness to the Tufts game—[she] really maintained her poise and composure and executed the game plan.”
Tufts opened the game scoring the first three points of the half. Bowdoin responded with a run that put the Polar Bears ahead 12-7. However, once Tufts barreled ahead 15-12, they would not give up the lead for the remainder of the game. The Jumbos finished the half with a 34-24 lead.
“I think we started off defensively really well,” said Binkhorst. “[Tufts] went on a bit of a run in the first half and then again opening up the second half, that we didn’t really respond as well to.”
During the second half, Bowdoin seemed to have been shaken off its game, and allowed Tufts to take control with a 13-2 run that extended their lead to 47-26 with only 16 minutes left.
Although the Polar Bears chased the Jumbos through the rest of the half, the game ended 66-55.
Binkhorst again led the team with 23 points, making all five of her three-point shots. Brady added 12 points and five rebounds. Bowdoin made 40 percent of its field goals compared to Tufts’ 48 percent, but led in total rebounds 31-27.
“I think the team seemed really tight when the game started,” said Shibles. “Most people didn’t really start to play like themselves until the end of the game. I felt like we were lacking execution in the offensive plays and the defensive sets.”
“It was a battle, but I think we learned a lot about ourselves and the areas we need to improve on,” added Binkhorst. “I think it’s really going to help us going into playoffs.”
Despite the loss, the women secured the second seed in the NESCAC, which is the best seed for Bowdoin since the 2008-09 season. Tomorrow, the Polar Bears will host seventh-seeded Middlebury in the NESCAC quarterfinal.
“The biggest thing we’ve been focusing on is that defensive intensity,” said Binkhorst.
“Whether it’s getting up in the passing lanes, or working on boxing out, and really working on our defensive communication. I think just bringing that 40 minutes of defensive pressure from all five of us on the floor.”
Women’s hoops stays perfect in NESCAC with two games left
Last Sunday, the women’s basketball team traveled to Vermont to play Middlebury (11-11 overall, 3-5 NESCAC), coming home with a 53-43 victory. The win improved the Polar Bears’ season record to 20-2 (8-0 NESCAC), stretched their winning streak to 17 games and improved their ranking to No. 18 nationally while maintaining their standing atop the NESCAC.
During the team’s Saturday practice before leaving for Middlebury, senior captain Megan Phelps suffered a broken ankle and was taken to the hospital. Losing a starting senior was a huge shock for the team.
“With Megan’s injury happening just hours, minutes before our departure, I think our entire team was a little bit rattled,” said Head Coach Adrienne Shibles. “I think that showed in our start in the first half.”
The Polar Bears battled the Panthers, who are now coached by former Bowdoin assistant coach Kelly “KJ” Krasco, through a tough first half. At one point Bowdoin fell behind 10-5, but a three-point jump shot from Marle Curle ’17 tightened up the score. Matching each other shot for shot, the teams battled each other for the lead until the half closed with the score tied at 24. Beginning the second half with the game close motivated the team to come out stronger. The half began with a layup from Curle that kicked off a 10-2 run and gave Bowdoin a lead that lasted the rest of the game. Although the game ended with the Polar Bears ahead by 10, at one point the lead climbed to 18 points.
“I like the way the team responded in the second half,” Shibles said. “I think we showed some resilience. I think the biggest change was that we upped the intensity of our defense. I think that that led to a lot of steals and transition points for us on the offensive end.”
While Bowdoin’s defensive performance was strong in the first half, the team executed better and was even more effective in the second. Kate Kerrigan ’18 dominated both defensively and offensively, contributing 11 points and six rebounds while racking up nine steals.
“We had to pick up the defensive intensity,” said Curle. “We just played better from there on out. Kate Kerrigan also had nine steals, so she was just everywhere on the floor.”
Brady blazed through the second half, scoring 12 of her 14 total game points, as well as getting seven rebounds. Meanwhile, Bowdoin’s bench surpassed Middlebury’s 19-10, thanks to 10 points scored by Ally Silfen ’17. Although Bowdoin’s 38.7 field goal accuracy percentage fell just behind Middlebury’s 40.5 percent, the Polar Bears held a 34-30 advantage in rebounds as well as a 28-16 lead on points in the paint.
Looking forward, the Polar Bears will prepare to play at Bates on Friday at 7 p.m. and at Tufts on Saturday at 3 p.m.
Shibles said these upcoming games will present very different challenges for the team.Tufts marks Bowdoin’s final game of the regular season, as well as a contest for the top seed in the conference. Tufts and Bowdoin are currently tied for first place in the league as the only two undefeated teams in the NESCAC. Tufts has only lost one game the entire season.
Regardless of the result, Bowdoin is guaranteed either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed for the NESCAC Tournament.
Women’s basketball perfect in senior weekend
Women’s basketball was victorious in both of its games last weekend, winning 60-51 against Amherst on Saturday and 63-47 against Trinity on Sunday.
These senior weekend triumphs bring Bowdoin’s win streak to 16 games and their overall record to 19-2 (7-0 NESCAC). In Saturday’s game against then No. 6 Amherst (17-2 overall, 4-2 NESCAC), the Polar Bears gave the Lady Jeffs their second loss of the year, dropping them four ranks and improved their own ranking to No. 21.
“We don’t really focus on those polls,” said Head Coach Adrienne Shibles. “They get [fired] up for every opponent, but there was an added incentive to really perform well against Amherst.”The crowd at Morrell Gymnasium was massive, with many fans in attendance to support the team’s three seniors, Sara Binkhorst, Megan Phelps, and Siena Mitman. The sizable audience added intensity to the fast-paced and heated games.
“It just motivated us all,” said Binkhorst. “The underclassmen played really well and [Shibles] framed it as honoring your seniors. Me, Megan and Siena all were really fired up for the games, and wanted to remember our senior weekend as getting two wins.”
After Amherst jumped out the gate to a 4-0 lead, the Polar Bears quickly recovered with a 10-0 run of their own, giving them a lead they would maintain for the remainder of the game. Lauren Petit ’18 scored a three-pointer to give the Polar Bears a 33-22 lead at the half.
Shannon Brady ’16 scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Phelps added nine points and 11 rebounds. The Lady Jeffs never came closer than eight points to Bowdoin’s lead, and spent most of the second half 10 points behind the Polar Bears. The score held at 51-41 in the last six minutes, and 56-46 in the last three.
The Polar Bears shot better from the field, sinking 42.9 percent to the Jeffs’ 31 percent. They finished the game strong defensively, ending with a final score of 60-51.
Inclement weather forced Trinity and Bowdoin to play on Sunday instead of Friday, and Bowdoin came out on top for its second consecutive win of the weekend.
The Polar Bears opened the first half slower than they had hoped, allowing Trinity to gain a seven-point lead of 28-21 during the first half.
“We weren’t playing up to our potential for the first bit of the game,” said Binkhorst. “On Sunday, our defensive intensity was not near where it was the day before.”
But Bowdoin fought back with nine points following a three-point er from Ally Silfen ’17. By halftime, the Polar Bears had finally bounced back to a 32-30 lead. Brady led the team once again, this time with 18 points. She was followed by eight points from each Phelps, Binkhorst, and Marle Curle ’17.
“Credit Trinity,” said Shibles. “They played really well in the first half and they finished a lot of their shots. We were better defensively in the second half. And I think the players were more intelligent in taking away what they wanted to get out of their offense.”
Refocused and recharged, Bowdoin triumphed over the Bantams in the second half with a powerful surge of defense and strong shooting on offense. With Brady scoring 14 of her points in the second half, the Polar Bears outshot the Bantams with 37.5 percent shooting from the field compared to their opponent’s 31.1 percent. They also outperformed Trinity on the glass, with a 51-36 lead in rebounds. Bowdoin finished the game with a 13-2 run, winning by a final score of 63-47.
Bowdoin will play at Middlebury on Sunday at 3 p.m.
Women’s basketball stays hot against Colby
The women’s basketball team stayed hot this week, beating Colby (12-5, 2-3 NESCAC) last Saturday by a score of 62-57 and improving its record to 17-2 overall (5-0 NESCAC). The team has now reeled off 14 consecutive wins.
The win was Bowdoin’s second against Colby this season after a non-conference triumph in December, but the Polar Bears expected nothing less than a battle from the Mules.
“We always knew that Colby was a very good shooting team,” said Kate Kerrigan ’18. “We just kept saying we need to keep our poise and we need to keep playing our style of basketball—good defense, keep attacking the rim—and eventually we will win this game.”
The teams traded leads until a couple minutes before halftime, when the score was tied 21-21. After a few well timed shots and strong defense, the Polar Bears broke the tie and entered the half with a 28-24 lead.
Shannon Brady ’16 was unstoppable in the second half, when she scored 14 of her 18 points. Marle Curle ’17 racked up 15 points, while Kate Kerrigan ’18 and Sara Binkhorst ’15 scored 12 points each.
Meanwhile, Colby’s offensive leader Carylanne Wolfington scored 18 points, all of which came off of three-pointers. In fact, the Mules totaled 10 three-pointers in the game, which helped them keep up with Bowdoin’s 44 percent shooting from the field.
“It was kind of tough,” said Brady on keeping the Mules from shooting beyond the arc. “Even doing whatever we could to stop them—after that it just came down to making sure we boxed out.”The score was tied 43-43 with 10 minutes left. After a pair of baskets from Colby, Bowdoin fell behind 48-45.
While Colby kept the game close until the bitter end, the Polar Bears ultimately prevailed with their accurate shooting, hustle and impressive defense. Another notable advantage was Bowdoin’s 22 points scored off turnovers.“We got some good deflections and steals that created points,” said Head Coach Adrienne Shibles. “There are definitely things to work on defensively, but I do love how much this team loves to play defense. I do agree that our steals are generating points for us.”
In such a close game, Bowdoin focused on maintaining confidence and positivity. “When we get down we don’t hang our heads at all,” Brady said.
“They really focused and never lost confidence in each other,” Shibles added.
After losing at the University of New England in its fifth game of the season, the Polar Bears beat Salve Regina University by 40 points, beginning the 14-game win streak they are currently riding.
Kerrigan said that despite the team’s success this season, Shibles insists upon a philosophy of perpetual improvement.
“We’re trying to get one percent better each day. We’re trying to push each other in practice to be better,” Kerrigan said.
Bowdoin will host Trinity tonight at 7 p.m. to kick off senior weekend.
“We have tremendous leadership,” Shibles said of the team’s seniors. “All three are captains—all three have given so much to this program.”