Women's soccer falls in semis
Bowdoin Women's Soccer-hardly a team to be neglected by the Orient, hardly a team to seek the press. This squad has averaged 11 wins since 1980. The 2002 campaign marks the 18 season for John Cullen as head coach, and he ends it with the staggering record of 188-63-19. A winning tradition is truly a central theme to this phenomenal, dynamic team.
Two seniors topped the roster of '02: Shelly Chessie and Amory Bradley. These two, along with junior Michal Shapiro, captained a squad that sported seven juniors, nine sophomores, and four first-years. While Chessie and Bradley saw their season end in a loss decided by penalty kicks during the semifinal round of the NESCAC tournament to Williams, they knew careers flavored by an excess of success.
Each senior brought their own mannerisms and ideals to the field and the hearts of their teammates. Both have a proven work ethic and desire to succeed that will surely lead them to grand places in post-grad life as well as inspire the peers they led to strive to meet their standards.
The saying, "The sum is greater than all its parts" is a cliché that rings startlingly true for these Bears. Thirteen of the 22 members of the roster racked up points this season, and nine had multiple goals. Rarely is offensive success so widespread or balanced, a factor that dismayed many defeated teams seeking one player to "key in" on.
This phenomenon is not limited to one side of the coin, as the defensive game plan was centered upon not only the four backs, but the keeper as well, working as one cohesive unit. The communication and trust required to establish a defense that allowed only 14 goals in 15 games is, as you might imagine, quite amazing.
The year was marked with peaks and valleys but determination and success almost always carried the day. An early tie with NESCAC underdog Wesleyan sparked a six game win streak that included a victory over much hated rival Williams and consecutive shut-out victories of perennial NESCAC challengers Middlebury and Amherst.
Two tough losses in overtime to eventual NESCAC champion Tufts and the rising stars at Connecticut College were cushioned by the CBB sweep in which Bowdoin outscored Bates and Colby a combined and dominating 8-1.
Penalty Kicks are no mark of desire-they are not even a mark of excellence. After battling for 110 minutes of debatably the highest level of competition to be seen in NESCAC, nay the country, the Bears left the field disappointed but not shamed. This group of Bowdoin athletes conducted themselves in a manner that brought pride to themselves, their fans, and the college - not only in their walk away from the field in defeat, but every time they placed themselves on it during the season.
Bowdoin Women's Soccer-amazing to watch, amazing to know.