Men's soccer slide tackles past Wheaton in overtime, 2-1
The Bowdoin men's soccer team pulled out a tough overtime contest against Wheaton last Saturday on Pickard Field as juniors Tommy Bresnehan and Tucker Hodgkins each scored in route to the Polar Bears' 2-1 victory.
The numerous fans who gathered to watch the season opener fell silent midway through the first half, as Bowdoin fell behind 1-0 with a beautiful corner kick goal by Wheaton's Barry Finnerty. A sprawling save by goalkeeper Travis Derr '04 prevented the Polar Bears from falling behind by two goals. The score remained 1-0 heading into halftime, a deficit that was fortunate considering Bowdoin's disjointed play.
It was evident during the second half, however, that the first period was not an accurate representation of the players skill, as cuts and passes improved, leading to the tying goal 20 minutes into the second half. Bobby Desilets '05 crossed to Bresnehan who settled the ball with a header and ripped a scissor kick off one bounce that was hotter than his red hair.
"Bobby played a great ball to me and I was just able to put it on net and got lucky," said a modest Bresnehan '05. While Bresnehan downplayed his goal, it sent the Polar Bear loyals into a frenzy and drew praise from fourth-year coach Brian Ainscough who said that Bresnehan showed "great agility for a big man."
While it was the "big man" who tied the game, the game-winning goal came off the foot of the smallest Polar Bear, Tucker Hodgkins '05. Just over a minute into overtime, Hodgkins tapped in the game winner past Wheaton keeper Matt Pachniuk. Like Bresnehan, Hodgkins was quick to credit luck while referring to his goal, "The ball just found my foot, and I was able to put it in the net. There's nothing better than an overtime goal though."
His goal was especially satisfying because it came in his first game back in over a year, as Hodgkins was forced to sit out last season with a knee injury. Ainscough said of his return, "He was always part of the team last year, as he was always there, but it's nice to have his talent back on the field."
Luck was not on Bowdoin's side throughout the entire game, however, as star defensive stopper Danny Sullivan '05 will be lost for at least three weeks because of a broken arm during play. Said Bresnehan, "Sully is a such big loss in the backfield, and we'll miss him. But Bucky Jencks '05 did a great job filling in and first years Mike Hollis and Anthony Regis also played great."
Unfortunately, this was not the only injury suffered by a Bowdoin player during the contest. After scoring his goal, Hodgkins raced to the sidelines and jumped on senior Joe Andrasko, who was then pinned under a pile of celebrating Polar Bears.
Said Hodgkins of the mauling, "I didn't know if the referee was going to give us the goal, but when he gave the signal I jumped on Joe and then we got piled on. I felt bad though, because there was blood pouring out of his nose." While Andrasko was unavailable for comment, no assault charges are expected against Hodgkins, and Andrasko will most likely be medically cleared to be in attendance this Saturday when the Wesleyan Cardinals visit to kick off the NESCAC season.
Said Ainscough, "We have an awful lot of returning players, which
bodes well, and we're confident going into the NESCAC season. We're still
a young team, but we're more seasoned this year." Come watch these
seasoned veterans and talented newcomers at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday on the
fields behind Farley.