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Women’s soccer beats Williams College in NESCAC semifinals, looks towards NCAAs

November 10, 2023

Courtesy of Brian Beard
HERE’S YOUR KICKER: Goalkeeper Charlotte Iannone ’26 sets up to kick the ball. The Polar Bears defeated Williams in the NESCAC semifinals and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament this weekend.

After winning against Williams College (9–3–5; 6–2–2 NESCAC) in the second round of penalty kicks (PKs) on Saturday, the women’s soccer team advanced to the NESCAC championship for the first time since 2015.

The team was down by one in the first half of the game against Williams, but Ella Olcese ’25 scored a goal in the 80th minute to tie the game 1–1. The team was then forced into two overtime periods and PK rounds.

“[The] last time we played Williams, it was 2–0.… There were a couple players missing. So I think people were really excited to have another chance to take them on for the first game, and then [goalkeeper Charlotte Iannone ’26] coming up huge in the PK shootout was just amazing,” Lo Hoglin ’24 said.

Greta Farkas ’24 made the first kick in the shootout, but the Polar Bears missed their next two shots. Iannone promptly came back with a save to keep the shootout going. Bowdoin converted four times consecutively. Iannone made a diving save and then buried her own PK, forcing the Polar Bears into sudden death. Bernardo converted on the first shot and Iannone followed with a save to secure the win.

“I think beating Williams on PKs was the most exciting moment so far. Since I’ve been here, getting to the semifinals was a first for us, let alone the finals,” Samaya Bernardo ’24 said. “We just really tried to keep that momentum going. And I think at the end of that second half, we were so close and we played some of our hardest [during] those double overtimes.”

Hoglin said that the team started the game focusing on playing the ball quickly and moving its attack forward.

“That was our main strategy and we knew coming in who the strong players on both teams were, so [we were] just making sure to try and shut those players down,” Hoglin said. “We were really good at being present for both games. We weren’t thinking about what’s going to happen if we lost or what was going to happen if we won. We were just really focused on trying to be present and do our job.”

After winning against Williams on Saturday, the Polar Bears lost against Amherst College (16–1–1; 8–1–1 NESCAC) in the finals on Sunday.

“We weren’t able to capitalize on the opportunities that we wanted in the second half—[Amherst] scored two on us—but it was still a good opportunity to show the NESCAC and others around the country who we are,” Stephanie Christianson ’26 said.

Bernardo added that she believes the team played some of its best soccer against Amherst on Sunday.

“Since I’ve been here, we’ve never beat Amherst ever…. Going into it, we knew it was going to be a really tough battle. But also we knew that the last time we played them was at the very beginning of our season, and we have grown to be a completely different team now than we were back then,” Bernardo said. “So we’re confident in how much we’ve grown and we ended up being up 1–0 against them for the first half, and I think that might have been the first time we’ve been up against them.”

On Wednesday, Jess Klein ’25 and Greta Farkas ’24 were named First Team All-NESCAC, while Morgan Smiley ’24, Stephanie Christianson ’26 and Kyra Hacker ’26 were named Second Team.

Despite the loss against Amherst, the team earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament and is looking towards playing Swarthmore College (12–3–2) this weekend.

“We’re all really excited. We know Swarthmore is a great team. So it’s going to be a battle, but that’s what makes it fun. That’s what it’s all about,” Christianson said.


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