BRUNSWICK—Men’s soccer extended its undefeated run to three games after beating University of Southern Maine (2-1-2) 4-1 on Tuesday afternoon. Having conceded just two goals during their three matches and scoring 12, the Polar Bears are now 3-0-0 (1-0-0 NESCAC).
The USM got on the scoresheet early in the eighteenth minute, but forward Ronaldo Cabral ’25 leveled the score for the Polar Bears just six minutes later off an assist from Charlie Ward ’22. Cabral found the net for a second time in the forty second minute when Temi Agunloye ’25 passed him the ball right before halftime. Bowdoin scored twice more in the final six minutes of the match when Ward found the goal himself, and Dylan Reid ’22 capped the scoring at four off of a corner kick.
Tuesday’s victory against the USM marks the second time in two matches that the Polar Bears have spurred comeback victories, something they were unable to achieve for the entirety of the 2021 season.
“[There is] a big element of confidence,” Head Coach Scott Wiercinski said post-game. “There is persistence to say that we can keep going and we can find our way through. I am glad that we were able to. We would love not to repeat [last year’s] pattern.”
The Polar Bears were down early, but as they maintained possession, the team grew more comfortable, leading to plenty of scoring opportunities. In the second half, a light rain overtook Pickard Men’s Soccer Field.
Wiercinski attributed the increase of the game’s pace to the wet playing conditions, helping the Polar Bears take advantage of the weaknesses in the USM’s formation.
“With the conditions getting faster, it sped up the ball and it sped up some of the decisions, and [that] benefited the attack overall,” Wiercinski said.
The ability to win the ball in the midfield not only served as a way to halt unwanted USM advances, but it also gave the Polar Bears chances to attack on the break. Whereas Cabral found the net to get Bowdoin on the scoresheet, it was Ward’s work that primed the goal. Capitalizing on a bad touch from the USM defender, Ward won the ball in the attacking third, playing Cabral through on goal who slotted a shot past the goalkeeper.
Cabral’s second goal was a near mirror image of the first. This time, however, it was Agunloye who won the ball in an attacking position before finding Cabral as he cut through the Husky back line. Cabral collected the ball, cut over to his right foot and finished far post to double the Polar Bear’s scoring total.
While Cabral humbly fist-bumped his teammates after the first goal, after scoring his brace the attacker ran over to the corner flag, twirled his fingers around, jumped into the air and spun back towards his team before throwing his arms down and bellowing the iconic ‘siu.’ The celebration was a familiar experience for those who have watched a different Ronaldo score goal after goal on the pitch.
As Bowdoin continued to dominate possession, Cabral took another shot in the eighty-fourth minute that was deflected by the USM goalkeeper. Thankfully, Ward was positioned perfectly to tap in the ball for a third goal for the Polar Bears.
With a few minutes remaining and the floodgates fully open, Reid put the finishing touches on the game, finishing a corner kick that was lofted up into the box by Cabral and deflected off of Ward.
Reid’s volley put an exclamation mark on the dominant victory where he impacted both ends of the field in an impressive 90-minute performance.
Next up, the men’s soccer team will take on Connecticut College away from home on Saturday in what will be only its second conference matchup of the season. The Polar Bears will return to Pickard Men’s Soccer Field on Monday to face off against Maine Maritime Academy.