The number 13 generally does not herald good things. Friday the 13 is unlucky. Many buildings don't have a 13th floor button in the elevator and people tend to avoid the number at all costs. However, if there ever was a counter-argument to this point, it's junior Ingrid Oelschlager's performance while wearing the number. While many athletes are afraid to take that jersey, Oelschlager chose it with determined defiance.
"I always sort of liked it, people always say the number thirteen is unlucky," the midfielder said. "I liked the idea of denying that superstition. I think it's lucky in its unluckiness."
Whatever it is about the jersey that is working for Oelschlager, it's certainly more significant than luck. Oelschlager has racked up some impressive accomplishments in her three years at Bowdoin. Oelschlager has been a key member of the team since her first year, including in the Bear's back-to-back national championships in 2007 and 2008.
Straight out of an impressive career at Phillips Exeter Academy, Oelschlager stormed into the NESCAC and played in all 20 games for the NCAA championship team. She finished the season second in scoring on the team with 16 goals and 35 points, and was second on the team with two game-winning goals.
Additionally, Oelschlager gained recognition within the league during her rookie season. She was named to the NCAA All-Tournament team, Second Team All-NESCAC, Second Team All-New England and was also chosen as the NESCAC Rookie of the Year.
Oelschlager continued to impress in her second season with the Polar Bears with another strong season. She appeared in all 21 games, contributing five goals, three assists and one game-winning goal to the second-time national champion Bowdoin squad.
Oelschlager returned this season to help lead the team to a 10-6 record and a trip to the NESCAC semi-finals, where they fell to a strong Trinity team. The midfielder finished up the season with four goals, six assists and one game-winning goal, again earning recognition within the NESCAC league. Oelschlager was a first-team selection for the NESCAC All-Conference team.
Over her three seasons here at Bowdoin, Oelschlager felt her development as a player has shown most prominently in her defensive improvements.
"I think [Head Coach] Nicky [Pearson] puts a big focus on one-on-one defense so I've definitely improved in that sense, and also just being more aware of my role individually as a defender anywhere on the field," she said.
Her hard work hasn't gone unnoticed, as evidenced by her league recognition, but her personal success has in no way affected her attitude toward the team.
Oelschlager said winning the national championships are her favorite memories at Bowdoin and that the team attitude has been the biggest component of her success here.
She credits her success to "having great teammates and wanting to work hard for them, myself, and coach, and just being a part of such a close-knit group."
With a promising senior year ahead of her, the Bears willl look to Oelschlager for leadership. Again, Oelschlager will undoubtedly prove that while she may be wearing an unlucky number, the Polar Bears are certainly lucky to have her.