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2023 – 2024 winter sports preview

November 10, 2023

Courtesy of Brian Beard
MEN’S BASKETBALL: Men’s basketball has grown in both new first year athletes and in height this year.


2022 – 2023 record: 10–14 (2–8 NESCAC)

After finishing last season on a three game losing skid, the recentered men’s basketball team is looking to bounce back in Head Coach Alex Lloyd’s third season at the College. While the team graduated four seniors last year, both members of last year’s starting backcourt—Michael Simonds ’24 and Jimmy McGowan ’25—will return for their third year together in Morrell Gymnasium.

In addition to returning experienced players, the Polar Bears have gotten taller. The five first years boast an average height of 6’5”—just an inch shorter than the average height of an NBA player.

While Lloyd has always embraced a philosophy of constant improvement, this mindset is especially important with this season’s younger roster.

“It’s about getting better every day. Our team is pretty young. We have eight sophomores, five first years.… While we love our group, we have a lot of work to do; we have a lot of growth to do,” Lloyd said.

Simonds, who averaged just over 12 points last year, is excited to see where the team can go this season.

“The first goals that come to mind are beating Bates and Colby, and then making a good run throughout NESCACs,” Simonds said. “We feel like our team this year is better than it has been the past few years.”

First game: November 10 vs Husson University

Courtesy of Brian Beard
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Women’s basketball looks to return to winning ways in the second year of the Phelps era.


2022 – 2023 record: 15–10 (4–6 NESCAC)

After snagging a spot in the NESCAC playoffs last year as the eighth seed, the women’s basketball team is looking to reestablish themselves as a perennial NESCAC title threat this season. After a rigorous offseason, as well as the addition of two promising first years, Head Coach Megan Phelps is hopeful of her team’s chances in her second year at the helm.

Despite graduating five seniors last year, the team will return three of its top five scorers: Sydney Jones ’24, Megan Tan ’23 and Callie Godfrey ’24. Tan, Jai Duval ’24 and Jess Giorgio ’23 round out this year’s senior class.

“I’ve been really, really impressed with the leadership of our senior class,” Phelps said. “All three of them have such distinct leadership styles. They came back senior year ready to leave it all out here. They are all three playing the best basketball that they’ve ever played.”

Tan is especially proud of the team’s commitment to improvement during the offseason. After acknowledging that the group fell short of its goals last year, all returning members vowed to maximize improvement this offseason, especially in the weight room.

“There were individual meetings with [Phelps] about what we needed to do to improve. From there, people used their offseasons to get better, and so far, everyone has done that,” Tan said.

“My team is made up of some of the best women, and they are pretty good at basketball too, so that helps,” Phelps said.

First game: November 11 vs Springfield College

Courtesy of Brian Beard
MEN’S HOCKEY: Men’s hockey embraces being the team to beat as the Polar Bears return to the ice.


2022 – 2023 record: 15–10–3 (6–9–3 NESCAC)

The men’s hockey team enters this season as the defending NESCAC Champions after winning its first conference title since 2014 last March. In Head Coach Ben Guite’s first year at the helm, the team had its best season since 2016. The Polar Bears’ season ended with a first-round NCAA tournament exit.

This year, the team hopes to continue challenging itself, improve its conference record and make another deep playoff run.

“When I look at what we have in the locker room, there’s plenty there to go after another NESCAC championship, but it’s a long season,” Guite said. “We’re challenging them to raise the bar and to work hard everyday, and they’ve responded well. A big thing for our team was the work we put in in the weight room over the summer.”

Last year, Bowdoin entered the playoffs as the seventh seed.

“Winning NESCACs is obviously great, but there were definitely some ups and downs throughout the season,” captain Nate Clark ’24 said. “We were under .500 heading into the playoffs. Our goal for this year is to improve upon that too.”

After graduating ten seniors, Guite said the team has a younger dynamic this year. However, forward Gabe Shipper ’26, who led the team in goals last season, will look to have another strong year, and captain Andy Stoneman ’23 will return to the team in January.

“The quicker we can get [the first years] in and engaged and do what we do on top of that and play quicker, we’ll see success,” Guite said. “We also have a lot of guys who didn’t play a lot last year because we had ten seniors. Those guys are going to need to step into big roles too.”

At next Friday’s home opener, the team will also host a chuck-a-puck to raise money for the Lewiston-Auburn Area Response Fund.

First game: November 17 vs Williams College

WOMEN’S HOCKEY: Women’s hockey is looking to bounce back after last season and will play Williams next Friday.


2022 – 2023 record: 7–13–3 (2–12–2 NESCAC)

The women’s hockey team finished last year at the bottom of the NESCAC and is embracing its underdog status heading into this year’s season. The team is working to improve its offensive prowess, take more shots and transform itself into a true playoff contender.

“We’re entering this year with a chip on our shoulder,” captain and defender Elsa Cassidy ’24 said. “We’re going to be gritty and dig deep and get the fight in us.”

Bowdoin will look to forwards Anyi Sun ’26 and Brett Stoddard ’23, who both led the team in goals last season, in addition to some of its younger talent.

“We had a really strong defensive unit, but you can’t win games by not scoring,” Cassidy said. “But we have a really strong group of freshmen, and it’s been exciting to see the sophomores become more comfortable their second year.”

The team will open its season with two conference games against Williams College.

“It’s good to start off with a conference game because it’s a testament to how we’ve prepared ourselves,” Cassidy said. “We’ve been trying to compete in practice the way that we play. It’s important because you have to go in the corner with the same grit at practice like you would if you were going against a [Colby] Mule.”

The team is also looking forward to hosting its rival Colby College on December 2 at Sidney J. Watson Arena.

“It’s always one of the most exciting games, especially at home,” Cassidy said.

First game: November 17 at Williams College

Courtesy of Brian Beard
MEN’S SWIMMING AND DIVING: The men’s swim and dive team finished eighth at NESCACs.


Last season, the men’s swimming and diving team finished eighth in NESCAC championships. Additionally, the five Polar Bears who qualified for NCAA Championships scored 16 total points, a tally that propelled the team to a 29th place finish.

For captain Steve Ward ’24, the team’s eighth place finish in the NESCAC championships—which can mostly be attributed to a mass illness that struck the team—is the spark for his goals this season.

“Last year at NESCACs, we all got sick on the last day so we want to stay healthy this year. We want to do better than last year, improve times, have a good time,” Ward said. “We want to get more than five [swimmers qualified for NCAAs] this year.”

The team is in a unique place this year, boasting a first-year class of nine swimmers. Whereas some teams may lower expectations with such a younger roster, Ward is confident the newcomers can compete right away.

“We have nine first year guys, and they’re fast. They’re legit,” Ward said.

First meet: November 18 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Courtesy of Brian Beard
WOMEN’S SWIMMING AND DIVING: The women’s swim and dive team finished fourth at NESCACs.


After finishing fourth in the NESCAC championships and 16th at NCAAs, the women’s swimming and diving team is looking to continue its success in the upcoming season.

Standouts Ella Martin ’24, Tatum Zupnik ’24 and Ella Riccio ’25 will all return to the pool after impressive showings at the NCAA championships.

In addition to the returners, three first years have joined the Polar Bears this year, something that senior Olivia Kim ’24 is excited about.

“Last year, our first years had a really big presence on relays and in points scoring, so we are building on that with our new first-year class,” Kim said. “They are going to swim fast.”

While official practices did not start until late October, the team’s captains, Martin and Zupnik, hosted unofficial, optional practices starting in September. Their leadership is something that Kim not only commends, but believes could give the team extra motivation in the pool.

“We have really good senior leadership this year. Our captains are all very dedicated, and I think that is going to trickle down to underclassmen,” Kim said.

First meet: November 18 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute

MEN’S INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD: Men’s track and field took fourth at the New England Championship.


2022 – 2023 New England Championship result: Fourth out of 35 teams

The men’s track and field team sprinted away from last season with a fourth-place finish at the New England Indoor Championship. Max Russo ’24 took second in the 200m with a school record of 1:21:39, and Ian Stebbins ’25 notched a school record in the heptathlon with 4,558 points. The team also took second at the Maine State Championship.

“They fought fiercely for that second place, and we’re looking forward to hopefully claiming both Maine State Championship titles this year,” Head Coach LJ Que said.

Que is excited to watch the new first years perform, and has already seen them make an impact on the team.

“Something particular about this first year class is their intentionality already as first years, their commitment to the team and their work ethic. It’s inspiring for me as a coach to watch, and I can tell it’s inspiring all of their teammates,” Que said.

Captain Parker Beatty ’23 echoed Que’s sentiments.

“I think it’s just really exciting to see all that work that people put in in the offseason [and] how that’s going to actually show up this season,” Beatty said.

First race: U Bears Invitational in Brunswick on December 2

Courtesy of Brian Beard
WOMEN’S INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD: Women’s track and field won the Maine State Championship.


2022 – 2023 New England Championship result: Sixth out of 42 teams

After last season’s sixth-place finish at the New England Indoor Championship and a historic win at the Maine State Championship, the women’s track and field team is ready to return to action. With 25 first years added to the men’s and women’s rosters, the team hopes to build on last year’s momentum and clinch another win at the Maine State Championship.

“The Maine State [Championship] is one of the oldest track and field meets in DIII collegiate history. To be a part of a historical meet and be a part of that history—that is one of the highlights of our season as a team,” Head Coach LJ Que said.

Pole vaulter Charlotte Hodge ’25, sprinter Kianne Benjamin ’24 and distance runner Leila Trummel ’23 competed at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship last March.

“We’re hoping to bring another set of Polar Bears to the national stage this upcoming indoor season,” Que said.

Many members of the team are wrapping up the cross country season this Saturday at the NCAA Regionals. Captain Stephanie Chun ’24 is excited to transition into track and field’s variety of events.

“It’s nice to come together as sprinters, jumpers, throwers and distance runners for indoor,” Chun said.

First race: U Bears Invitational in Brunswick on December 2

Courtesy of Brian Beard
MEN’S SQUASH: The men’s squash team is focusing on team chemistry in hopes of moving up in rankings this season.


2022 – 2023 record: 8–13 (2–8 NESCAC)

The men’s squash team finished its past season ranked 25th in the nation after going 3–0 in the College Squash Association (CSA) Nationals to win its division. The team graduated five seniors last year and has two players abroad this semester—including Jack Winston ’25, who played at the number one position all of last season. The team is focusing on developing a strong sense of team chemistry and identity.

“We learned a lot last year. A lot of that happened during [winter] break, which was a tough period for the team,” Head Coach Theo Woodward said. “I think this season is going to be more positive in a lot of ways. There’s a lot of healthy competition.”

Captain Nick Wilkinson ’25 said that one of the team’s goals for the season is to move up in the national rankings and believes that building a strong team bond will help Bowdoin find success this year.

“A really big thing for us is team chemistry. Everyone on the team feels a lot closer this fall. That’s started with a lot of the work we’ve done this preseason,” Wilkinson said. “We have three newcomers who have brought a lot of energy to the program.”

Bowdoin also hopes to perform better against NESCAC opponents. Last season, the team did not qualify for conference playoffs.

“We had close matches against them last season, so I’m not just being optimistic. We truly believe we can beat these teams,” Wilkinson said. “We also want to make sure that we’re learning and that it’s a positive experience.”

First match: December 2 vs Brown University

Courtesy of Brian Beard
WOMEN’S SQUASH: Women’s squash hopes to keep a positive mindset throughout the season after ranking 16th in the nation at the end of last year.


2022 – 2023 record: 12–11 (5–5 NESCAC)

The women’s squash team finished last season ranked 16th in the nation. The team qualified for the NESCAC playoffs and lost in the quarterfinal to Williams College. Despite going 0–3 at the CSA Nationals, the team finished the season with its highest win total since 2016. The team is honing in on its mental game in preparation for conference opponents.

“The top 16 is a really lovely area to be in, but I think we can get a little higher up. It only takes a little more cohesion, a little more deliberate practice and a little more work,” Head Coach Theo Woodward said.

Captain Skyler Spaulding ’24 emphasized that the team has been working on keeping a positive mindset.

“Squash is unique because, with all the matches going on at once, we also have to coach ourselves and our teammates between games. We’ve been focusing on … how to be tough and gritty,” Spaulding said.

The team hopes to qualify for the conference tournament again this season and perform well at CSA Nationals.

First match: December 2 vs Brown University

Courtesy of Bowdoin Athletics
NORDIC SKIING: The Nordic ski team is excited to work with its momentum from last year.


The Nordic ski team ended last year’s season by placing several skiers in the top 30 and sending Aggie Macy ’24 and Jori Grialou ’26 to the NCAA Championships. After high turnover following the 2021 season, Head Coach Nathan Alsobrook is happy with the team’s performance and excited to work with its momentum this year.

“We had graduated some really strong skiers, and we were bringing in a lot of new skiers…. [Last year’s] team really came together. They were very cohesive [and] trained really hard,” Alsobrook said. “We’re bringing back almost everybody from last year … and we have a chance to build on everything we did last year.”

Macy, who is a captain this year, added that the team’s underclassmen will be integral to its success this season.

“I think we’re setting ourselves up for an even better season this year because our [sophomores], especially [on] the women’s team, are really fast, so we have a lot of depth this year. And our incoming first years are also really fast,” Macy said.

Out of the six races on the books for this winter, the full team will be attending four of them—one more than last year. The team also added five first years to its roster this year—two for the women’s team and three on the men’s side.

First race: January 12 and 13 at the University of Vermont (UVM) Carnival


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