The men’s soccer team wrapped up its regular season this week with a 3–0 win on the road against Wesleyan University (5–5–5; 2–3–5 NESCAC) on Saturday and a 1–0 loss at home against Tufts University (10–2–3; 6–1–3) on Tuesday night. After splitting the two games, the Polar Bears finished the regular season with a record of 9–2–4 (5–2–3 NESCAC). The team will travel to Medford, Mass. tomorrow for a rematch with Tufts in the NESCAC quarterfinals.
Against Wesleyan, Tyler Huck ’26, Jack Banks ’27 and Matthew Braver ’23 scored a goal apiece. Defensively, the strong showing marked the team’s fifth shutout win of the season.
Bowdoin’s defense has been staunch all year, and the team finished the regular season with just ten goals allowed, tied for second-best in the NESCAC. Huck noted the impact of the team’s impressive new-look defense on the team as a whole.
“It’s a very new backline this year, and they’ve all stepped up really impressively,” Huck said. “That’s how it’s been all year despite losing the best defender and goalie in the league last year. They’ve really stepped up, and it’s definitely made it easier for me and the rest of the attacking players to be able to go forward and know that they have our backs.”
Midfielder Julian Juantorena ’23, a captain and key leader for the team, feels that the young squad has shown a lot of maturity over the course of the season.
“That was definitely a big talking point going into the season—how to adapt given we don’t have the same level of overall maturity. And I think a lot of that comes with time and having the games happen. I think we’ve done a good job with it,” Juantorena said. “We’ve had a lot of [first years] step up and play big minutes and do their jobs really well. Even the sophomore class has taken a huge leadership role on the team and is doing really well.”
Even with a 21–8 shot advantage against Tufts and a number of opportunities to tie the game in the second half, the Polar Bears fell 1–0. Juantorena and Huck both felt the team performed well, despite the loss. With the result, Bowdoin ended the season fifth in the NESCAC, and Tufts finished fourth.
Saturday presents a unique opportunity, as the Polar Bears will rematch Tufts, this time on the road. Interestingly enough, the same situation presented itself in 2021—Juantorena’s second season—when Bowdoin faced Tufts in both the final game of the regular season and the first game of the NESCAC tournament.
“There’s always a lot of questions about what they’re going to change and what we’re going to change. But more often than not it ends up being that nothing really changes. I think there will definitely be little things we touch on, whether it’s how we build out or how to limit chances,” Juantorena said. “But I imagine it’s not going to be an astronomical [adjustment].”
The Polar Bears are excited to have a chance at redemption and feel confident in their ability to succeed in the playoffs. The team boasts the best goal differential in the NESCAC and has conceded just seven goals against conference opponents.
“We have the best defense in the league right now,” Juantorena said. “And I think we have the most offensive potential given shot output and personnel. Everyone’s going to give their case for why they think they are the best, but I like our group. I trust our group. And we have all the skillsets to score against anyone and win any game.”