Lady Bears slidetackle past Purple Cows 2-0
Last season, during the NESCAC semifinals, the Polar Bears suffered a heartbreaking loss to Williams in a shootout after double overtime; they were not going to let it happen again and were ready to play from the start. Only six minutes into the game senior captain Hillary Smith rifled a shot directly at the Williams keeper. It was deflected directly towards Chrissy Goss '04 who was waiting to knock it home for the first goal of the game. The early lead gave the ladies a huge boost of confidence and maintained their momentum.
Senior midfielder Michal Shapiro attributed much of the team's great play to its energy and intensity, as well as its collective composure:
"We came out strong from the beginning and Williams did not know how to respond to us. We took the game away from them and played with our hearts but also with our heads. In games that are so intense, it is easy at times to be playing as hard as you can but also easy to loose composure and skill. We maintained both."
What was most impressive about Bowdoin was its ability to control the speed of the game through their fantastic passing. The midfield, led by seniors Shapiro, Smith, and Julie Barnes, was able to possess the ball with extreme confidence, which allowed the three to see the field and distribute the ball effectively to the aggressive Bowdoin offense. Although the Polar Bears did not score for the rest of the first half, their intensity and hustle was evident. They controlled the pace of the game and beat Williams to nearly every 50/50 ball.
The second half began and senior Jillian Falwell was hungry. She continued her relentless play upfront as well as her scoring streak with a beautiful goal off a great feed from Barnes five minutes into the second half.
The bears were not giving the Purple Cows a minute to breathe. Falwell notched her second impressive goal of the game at 60:59. Receiving a long pass from goalie Anna Shappel '05, she used her lightening speed to single-handedly beat the Williams defense and their keeper, placing the ball in the back corner of the net. Falwell's natural ability to finish was hard to beat. When she has the ball, she is one of the hardest players to defend in the NESCAC.
Of equal importance to the attacking offense and confident midfield was the outstanding play of the indestructible Bowdoin defense, led by junior Kendall Cox. The communication among the back four was outstanding. They knew where each other were and were rarely caught out of position. Twice in the second half Williams was left with an open net, but the Bowdoin defenders remained composed and stopped every offensive attack made by the Purple Cows. Keeper Shappel contributed greatly to the Bowdoin backfield making eight saves, as well as earning her second shutout of the year.
The Polar Bears left everything on the field on Saturday. Their intensity
could not be matched even by a very talented and hardworking Williams
team. Shapiro said, "Playing games against an opponent like Williams
is one of the reasons why you play the game of soccer: to push yourself
and your teammates to the next level. It was an amazing game to play in
because our intensity, focus, and composure were there for all 90
Tuesday afternoon in a horrendous rain and windstorm, the Polar Bears came out on top again beating Plymouth State 2-0. With the rain pouring onto the field, the polar bears had a difficult time finding their rhythm. Although they outshot the Panthers, they could not find the back of the net and went into the half tied 0-0.
However, the adverse conditions could not keep them down. Four minutes into the second half, Chrissy Goss '04 made a nice feed to Cedar Goldman '05 who knocked the ball into the lower corner of the net for the first goal of the game. Shortly after, a scuffle in the box led a loose ball to the feet of first year Elizabeth Graham who promptly found the back of the net, putting the bears up 2-0 at 56:38. Bowdoin did not need to worry about adding to the score as keeper Rebekah Metzler '04 made four saves and earned her first shutout of the season.
This weekend the Polar Bears have a tough and important double header.
Facing two NESCAC powerhouses, Amherst and Middlebury, will be a challenge
for Bowdoin but a challenge they are not afraid to take. Shapiro stated,
"Our coaches are preparing us by having great practices where the
entire team plays hard and creates a supportive environment. We are taking
every inch around us!"