BRUNSWICK — Women’s soccer opened its season with a 0–0 draw against Bates College (0–0–1; 0–0–1 NESCAC) Despite ending Bowdoin’s ten game winning streak against the Bobcats, the draw did extend Bowdoin’s unbeaten streak against Bates to 17.
While the Polar Bears would have preferred to pick up a victory in their season opener, especially at home, the new-look defensive back line held tough for the full 90 minutes.
“We obviously wanted to do better than that and score, but we have been working on our back line a lot, and they performed extremely well,” captain and midfielder Greta Farkas ’24 said.
The Polar Bears started their season just how they ended last year’s: a 4-4-2 diamond midfield with Farkas at the base. Stephanie Christianson ’26, Samaya Bernardo ’24 and Morgan Smiley ’24 provided attacking threats while goalkeeper Charlotte Iannone ’26 commanded the back four from between the posts.
Bowdoin’s first big chance of the match came in the eighth minute when Cadence Lee ’27—the team’s only first-year starter—found herself in on goal before blasting a shot directly into the Bobcat keeper’s face. The match was subsequently put on hold for five minutes while the goalkeeper underwent concussion protocol testing from the training staff. She remained in goal for the rest of the game.
Later, in the 33rd minute, Ella Olcese ’25 belted a shot from outside the box. Although Olcese’s attempt beat the keeper at her near side, the shot was denied by the post. While the Polar Bear’s attacking output was sound for the remaining 66 minutes, Olcese’s attempt was by far the most dangerous chance of the match.
The most hopeful moment in the game for Bates came in the 70th minute when the Bobcats set up a wide-open shot inside the six-yard box for one of their midfielders, but the shot cleared the goal post before landing in the forest beyond.
While chances were few and far between for the Polar Bears, a number of quality performances from players stepping into new roles should give the team hope for the season to come. Lo Hoglin ’24 made the dramatic switch from striker to center-back and slotted into the back line seamlessly. Additionally, a midfield cameo by Laila Nickelson ’25 highlighted the team’s versatility in both tactics and personnel.
“We’re majority underclassmen. I think there was a lot of anxiety coming into this game, but everyone stepped up to the plate,” Farkas said.
This game also featured the first career start for goalkeeper Iannone, who finished with two saves and a clean sheet. She pointed to her teammates’ ability to step into new roles as a source of confidence.
“I trust everyone on our team so much. There is a lot of turnover but everyone who is playing is just so incredible—really stepping into new positions,” Iannone said.
Even with some positive takeaways, the team was not satisfied with the result of its first match.
“We want to win. Kind of a slow start with our tie, but we’re hungry and looking for more,” Athalia Esty ’26 said.
The Polar Bears will return to Pickard Field on Sunday at 2:30 p.m., where they will play Endicott College (3–0–0).