Men's ice hockey looks for big upset in NESCAC quarterfinals
Having lost 11 of its last 14 games, the Bowdoin men’s ice hockey team (8-15-1, 5-12-1 NESCAC) will travel to Hamilton (17-3-4, 11-3-4 NESCAC) this weekend for the quarterfinals of the NESCAC tournament.
In order to keep its season alive, Bowdoin will have to accomplish something that only one team—No. 6 Tufts (11-10-3, 9-8-1 NESCAC)—has been able to do all year: defeat the Continentals on their home ice.
The Polar Bears finished eighth in the conference this season, comfortably ahead of Connecticut College (4-16-3, 2-13-3 NESCAC) and Middlebury (3-19-2, 3-15-0 NESCAC). Still, Bowdoin enters the NESCAC tournament as the lowest-seeded team as only the top eight teams in the league qualify for the playoffs.
Though the Polar Bears face a formidable opponent, they can draw inspiration from the fact that there have been several instances of eighth seeds upsetting first seeds in the NESCAC quarterfinals in recent years.
Tufts has done it the past two seasons, beating Williams in 2016 and Trinity in 2015. Wesleyan did it in 2011, when it crushed Hamilton 5-2; and No. 8 Colby gave Bowdoin a scare in 2010, though the Polar Bears eventually escaped in a 2-1 overtime victory. If nothing else, these examples show that the NESCAC tournament is an opportunity for a fresh start.
Captain Mitch Barrington ’17 sees parallels to his first season on the team, when Bowdoin won the NESCAC title as a fifth seed.
“It was kind of a similar year in that we didn’t have the best regular season, but we came together and started playing our best hockey at the right time,” he said. “And that’s what we are going to try to do this year. It’s kind of taken a little bit longer than we had hoped to get things together, but we feel pretty good about how we’ve played, and obviously our seniors have plenty of playoff experience.”
There are also more concrete reasons to believe that Bowdoin can take on Hamilton this weekend. The last time the teams played each other in early February, the Polar Bears showed they could keep pace with the Continentals as the teams entered the third period tied 1-1. Ultimately, Hamilton broke away in the final period to prevail 3-1.
“They came out strong in the first period and took it to us, but we battled back and tied the game up,” Barrington said. “And I think a few plays didn’t go our way, maybe some calls that didn’t go our way and they were able to capitalize late. We definitely feel good about how we have played them this year.”
Yet when the Polar Bears played Hamilton, in early January, the game resulted in a 6-3 Bowdoin loss, with a similar third period breakaway. However, the game was almost two months ago and the team believes it has developed significantly since then.
The team will need to turn things around fast. During the final 14 games of the regular season, the Polar Bears allowed an average of 4.6 goals per game and scored an average of only 2.1. The team will need a special game plan to stop the Continentals and will also need to limit their mistakes, especially on the defensive end.
“I think our guys are really anxious to get another crack at the top team in the league,” Head Coach Jamie Dumont said. “Our motto going into it is that it’s tough to beat a team three times in one year.”
The quarterfinal starts at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Hamilton and is available to stream on http://www.nsnsports.net/colleges/hamilton/.
Sailing has scattered start to season
The Bowdoin sailing team opened its season with five regattas in one weekend and finished with mixed results. The team placed as high as first of eight teams at the Phil Harman Cup hosted by Maine Maritime Academy, and as low as 12th of 13 teams at the Toni Deutsch Regatta hosted by MIT. However, since nationals are not until the spring season, the team does not place high priority on races at this point in the season.
“We’re pretty heavily in the development stage right now,” Head Coach Frank Pizzo said. “But that’s no different from the team at this point in past years.”
“Right now we’re focused on the process of getting better,” Captain Hunter Moeller ’17 said. “We’re really trying to focus on working hard at lifts, working hard at practice and working on communication on the water. It’s all process-oriented at this point in the season.”
Many of the early season regattas are a big part of that process, as they provide the new members of the team a chance to gain valuable experience out on the water.
“Each year we have an influx of people who don’t know how to sail, so these first few weeks become a time of learning for them,” Captain Dana Bloch ’17 said. “We’re all trying to teach them and help integrate them onto the team and create an environment where everyone feels motivated to work really hard.”
Despite participating in five regattas in a single weekend, the team was able to stay organized and remain a cohesive unit. Two of the events this weekend were at Maine Maritime, another two were in Boston—at MIT and Harvard—and the fifth took place at Yale.
“We target these specific events because they are in close proximity to each other,” Pizzo said. “We know we can get a lot of people sailing and our coaches can see a lot of races, so it’s great experience and helps the team stay together.”
Pizzo chooses who races at each regatta, and there are a number of factors that are behind each decision.
“We know that certain hosts are really good at running events, so sometimes we want to expose somebody to a specific venue,” he said. “Other times, it’s about getting people experience. It’s also about rewarding who’s sailing well and having them sail at the best events—and I would say this changes on a weekly basis.”
Although seven team members graduated last spring, the team has an experienced senior class poised to fill those roles.
“One of the strengths of the team is that we have a really deep senior class that has done a ton of sailing for Bowdoin,” Pizzo said. “We have a lot of really great, supportive senior leaders so that’s huge for us because they are able to help us build the culture that we need to build for our team.”
However, Pizzo also noted several areas where the team needs improvement.
“I would say boat speed and starting are big focuses for us. We’ll chip away at those areas for now and get to where we need to be,” said Pizzo. “We have a full year to develop, which is a huge advantage as compared to a lot of other sports."
The team hopes that making these improvements over the course of this year will yield the desired results come spring.
“Our ultimate goal is to place well at nationals at the end of the season,” Moeller said. “In order for us to be successful we just need to keep working hard.”
The team will travel across New England this weekend for three more regattas taking place at Connecticut College, MIT/Boston University and the University of Vermont.
Women's rugby exits league for tougher competition
After outscoring its regular season opponents by nearly 800 points over the last two seasons, the Bowdoin women’s rugby team chose to leave the New England Small College Rugby Conference (NESCRC) in favor of a more challenging schedule.
“It’s what we’ve wanted, and it’s really what we’ve needed,” Head Coach Marybeth Mathews said. “The past two years were very challenging because there wasn’t much of a challenge, which made it hard for us in the postseason to go up against tougher teams without having experienced much competition in the regular season.”
This season the Bowdoin Women’s Rugby Team will play an independent schedule against primarily other Division II varsity teams from the Northeast. The teams that Bowdoin played in the NESCRC were all club teams, so this season the team expects higher levels of organization and skill from its opponents.
“I think the level of play should be increased and improved from last season. These teams are going to have solid, stable coaching staffs and the skill level of the teams will be higher,” Mathews said.
“We’re excited to play more competitive teams,” captain Cristina Lima ’17 said. “It’s definitely going to be a bigger challenge and we’re embracing that.”
Despite the expectation of tougher competition, the team is using the same methods of preparation that they’ve used in previous seasons.
“The way that our practices are set up and the way that we are preparing for our opponents is exactly the same,” captain Samantha Hoegle ’17 said. “However, because of the higher levels of competition, I think what our coaches are teaching us in practice will be more immediately applicable in a game situation, rather than having to wait two months to use it in a national tournament.”
A large portion of the team is new to rugby, which presents another challenge as it enters a more competitive season.
“In a way this is an interesting year to leave the conference because we are younger and we are less experienced than we have been in probably 15 to 20 years,” Mathews said.
“It’s actually kind of nice having a young team; we get to see the program grow right in front of us,” Hoegle said.
Bowdoin had its first scrimmage against Brown, a Division I varsity team, this past weekend. Despite losing 39-14, it was a productive day for the Polar Bears and a great learning experience to compete against a higher-level program.
“Brown arrived here in the morning, we practiced together, had lunch together and then went back on to the field and had a scrimmage afterwards. That day really shows what is so perfect about the rugby culture—you have fierce competition on the field but great camaraderie off it,” Mathews said.
The team also has a strong senior presence. Motivated by the team’s great run of success in recent seasons, the class hopes to enhance the rugby culture at Bowdoin.
“The seniors really want to leave a legacy for the women that are joining the team,” Mathews said. “They want future classes to know what an honor and a privilege it is to wear the jersey and play rugby here, and that’s really special.”
The team opens the regular season at Molloy College in New York on September 24 at 11 a.m.
Women's tennis captures first victory against Williams in program history
The Bowdoin women’s tennis team (12-4, 5-2 NESCAC) sent a message to the rest of the NESCAC with a historic 6-3 victory over second-ranked Williams (14-3, 5-1 NESCAC) on Saturday. The win marks the Polar Bears’ first-ever victory over the Ephs after losing each of the previous 28 meetings.
“I expected a hard match,” said Joulia Likhanskaia ’17 who plays first singles for the team. “I didn’t know who was going to win going in, but we all just really pushed ourselves to the limit and got a great result.”
Bowdoin showed toughness early on, as two of the three doubles teams had impressive comeback victories. The team of Likhanskaia and Tiffany Cheng ’16 found a way to rally back from a 4-1 deficit and win the match 8-6. The pair of Pilar Giffenig ’17 and Maddie Rolph ’19 also dug themselves out of a 4-1 hole to win 9-7. Tess Trinka ’18 and Kyra Silitch ’17 won the other doubles match by a score of 8-5.
“Winning all three doubles matches was huge, but what wasequally huge was the way that we won them,” Likhanskaia said.
In singles, the Polar Bears displayed grace under pressure for the rest of the afternoon. Sam Stalder ’17 came back from losing the second set 6-1 to win an intense third, 7-6. Likhanskaia also won a hard fought three set match, and Cheng won a close two-set match 7-5, 7-6. Stalder was the first player to win her singles match, which brought the Polar Bears within one win of defeating Williams for the first time. Cheng’s win clinched the victory and also took pressure off of Likhanskaia, which allowed her to put the match further out of reach.
“I think the talent levels in almost of all of the matches were very even,” Likhanskaia said. “We just willed ourselves to the win.”
Another factor that drove the team to its victory over the Ephs was the enthusiasm of the large crowd in attendance, many of whom were alumni returning for reunion weekend. Bowdoin fed off this energy and remained resilient even when Williams began to chip away at the Polar Bears’ lead.
“The fact [that it was] during reunion weekend was amazing,” Likhanskaia said. “We had a huge crowd and all of these alums cheering which really helped motivate everybody right until the end.”
Still, the victory was far from a sure bet after Bowdoin’s disappointing performances the weekend before. The Polar Bears lost to NESCAC rival Middlebury 7-2 and top-ranked Emory 8-1. Following the defeats, Bowdoin fell to 11-4 on the season.
“We regrouped after the losses to Middlebury and Emory. We all sat down and had a long talk with each other,” Likhanskaia said. “I think that talk really helped put us in the right mindset on Saturday…Everyone was playing for each other.”
Though the victory against the Ephs was an upset, the gap between Bowdoin and Williams has been narrowing in recent seasons. Two years ago, the Polar Bears lost 7-2, and last year, they lost by only one match in the regular season.
“We’ve definitely been progressively gaining on Williams over the past couple of years,” Likhanskaia said. “So far, this has been our best performance as a team, and I think we’ve kept on improving throughout the season to get to this point.”
“I can’t speak for everyone on the team, but I think this is probably the most satisfying win that I’ve had at Bowdoin,” she continued. “The win reminded us how good we are this year, and it really gave us our confidence back.”
The team got an extra day off to savor the big win, but they will face a difficult Tufts team on the road this weekend.
“We need to remain aware that Tufts is better this year, and we should expect a hard match,” Likhanskaia said.
Bowdoin has won its last four contests against the Jumbos, but this year, Tufts is much improved.
The team will return to action against Tufts at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
The Polar Bears will also have to prepare for the NESCAC playoffs, which start next weekend.
Men’s track and field wins first outdoor meet
The men’s track and field team dominated in its first meet of the outdoor season this past weekend. Bowdoin finished with 317 points, 240 more than the second place finisher, UMaine-Farmington (77 points). Colby (76 points) placed third, Husson (68 points) finished fourth and St. Joseph’s (21 points) fifth.
“I think in general it was just a really strong race,” captain Nick Walker ’16 said. “Usually when you start outdoor track people usually don’t hit their personal records, but in general this was a really good meet all around.”
The win should come as little surprise, as the team posted many impressive results throughout its indoor season. The most notable include a second place finish out of 50 schools at the ECAC Meet and first place at the Maine State Meet.
“I’ve just been blown away by how hard everyone on the team has been working every single day,” Walker said.
Walker cited middle- and long-distance races as the team’s biggest improvement compared to past seasons.
“In terms of the state meet, last year and in past years it always seems like we narrowly lose to Bates,” he said. “This year we were finally able to edge them out and I think the thing that really changed was that the distance runners are consistently performing at a high level, which is in large part because of a really strong freshman class.”
The team won 14 events overall on Saturday. Latif Armiyaw ’18 won the 100 meters (11.76 seconds), Harrison Porter ’19 won the 400 meters (51.76 seconds), John Kennealy ’18 in the 800 meters (1:59.29) and Matt Jacobson in the 1500 (3:59.40). The relay team of Andrew Murowchick ’16, Jibrail Coy ’16, Porter and Armiyah took the 4x100 meter relay (44.20 seconds) and the relay team of Porter, Liam Nicoll ’18, Seamus Power ’16 and Jacob Ellis ’16 won the 4x400 meter relay (3:37.16).
Sprinting, jumping and throwing have been consistently strong over the past couple of years, and that has continued this year. Saturday was no exception, as Brian Greenberg ’18 took the long jump (6.59 meters) and triple jump (13.81 meters), Joseph Staudt ’19 won the high jump (1.80 meters) and 110 meter hurdles (15.42 seconds), John Pietro ’18 won the hammer (46.28 meters) and shot put (13.89 meters), and Thomas Rehnquist ’16 won the discus (39.20 meters).
“Past years we’ve had certain individuals or teams or relays that were really strong, but we haven’t had a team that was this strong across the board in my entire time at Bowdoin,” Walker said.
According to Walker, another factor that differentiates this team from past seasons and has contributed to their elevated level of play has been the inclusiveness of the team.
“I’ve noticed in past years that event groups usually just hang out together,” Walker said. “There isn’t a lot of intermingling. This year I see people interacting across those boundaries a lot more. It just seems like a much more relaxed atmosphere, so that’s been maybe the nicest part of the track season for me so far and has maybe helped us get some of our good results.”
In the next three weeks, the team has two of its biggest meets: the outdoor Maine State Meet, which will take place on April 23 at Colby, and the NESCAC Championship meet, which will take place April 30 at Amherst.
“States is just kind of a personal pride thing for our team,” Walker said. “Bates, Colby and USM are usually our biggest competitors there and if we can win it just means a lot for our team and pride.”
Walker noted that the NESCAC Championship Meet is also important in rallying the team toward a common goal.
“Something about missing the Saturday of Ivies creates almost an extra commitment that people bring to that meet,” he said.
The team will look to continue its recent successes as they travel to Middlebury this weekend to compete in the Middlebury Invitational on Saturday, April 16 at 11 a.m.
Baseball looks to build on early season success
The baseball team returned from its annual trip to Florida with a record of 8-3, which is better than each of its Florida finishes in the past two seasons. The team partly credits its early success to more discipline at the plate.
“One of the big differences from last year is that we are putting together better at bats,” captain Harry Ridge ’16 said. “We’re being more careful and patient, and there have been a lot fewer five- or six-pitch innings so far.”
This approach has been the product of a strong emphasis on hitting fundamentals, which the coaches and captains have stressed since the first day of official practices in February. The pitchers and defense have caught on as well, and this has helped the players stay relaxed and focused during games.
The team’s no-nonsense attitude has already shown that it yields good results. One of the most telling numbers from the trip was that the team finished 4-0 in games decided by three runs or fewer.
“I think those games were the ones where we didn’t have any trouble throwing strikes and played good defense,” Ridge said. “When those two things happen, our offense has a clear head and isn’t pressing. They can stay more relaxed and go about things the right way.”
This year’s team also features many new starters, and so far they have seamlessly filled in the gaps left by last year’s graduating seniors.
“I think there’s just good energy in our lineup,” captain Chris Nadeau ’16 said. “This might not be the most talented group of guys that I have seen in my four years here, but this is definitely the grittiest lineup I have seen in my time here.”
“There are so many new faces in the lineup after the same guys had been starting in the same positions forever,” he continued. “With the new guys, there’s just a different level of excitement for this season.”
The team has failed to reach the NESCAC playoffs in each of the last two seasons. Hopefully, the enthusiasm from the new starters can translate into more consistent play.
One aspect that makes the NESCAC so difficult is how few games count toward the final standings. Only the top two of five teams in the NESCAC East—Bowdoin’s division—advance to the NESCAC playoffs, where the top two teams in the NESCAC West join them. Every team in the NESCAC East plays each other three times, and the two teams with the best record at the end of those 12 games advance. This means that the margins separating teams at the end of the season are almost always very slim.
“Each of those games is like a playoff game,” Nadeau said. “Every game means a lot, and you really have to win each series to make it to the playoffs. We definitely can’t take any team for granted. Bates has made it for the last two years after missing the playoffs for I think 10 years, so we have to watch out for everyone.”
Still, the team has high expectations for the season.
“I think we will be more competitive than we have been in recent years just because there is not a weak spot anywhere in our lineup this year. We expect to win two games of every series this year,” Ridge said.
The Polar Bears will get a better sense of where they stand among NESCAC competition this weekend when they face Trinity on the road at 3 p.m. today in the first game of a three-game series.
Renaud ’16 continues to improve as ice cross downhill gains popularity
Over the last two winters, Gabriel Renaud ’16 has made a flawless transition from ice hockey to ice cross downhill, a winter extreme sport that consists of high speed downhill skating on a course similar to the luge, but with obstacles. Renaud has raced in nine different countries in front of crowds that often reach 50,000 people.
The objective of the sport is simple: make it to the finish line the fastest. However, unlike many winter sports, the riders do not race individually in an attempt to record the fastest time. Instead, they are released simultaneously in typically heats of four, and have to jockey for position at 40 mph over jumps, waves, sharp turns, and vertical drops. To make matters worse, the ice is often patchy at the later stages of many multi-race events.
“What makes the sport really challenging for me is the ice conditions,” Renaud said. “It’s not like skating on a rink. A lot of people will see us on TV and they think we can’t really skate because we’re off balance, but this isn’t like anything else. You only have 10 centimeters of steel touching the ice and one small move can throw everything off.”
Sixty-four riders compete in each event, and the top two riders in each heat make it to the next round until the final round, where the top rider wins the title. Skaters have been clocked at a top speed of 51 mph, and the longest recorded jump was an estimated 27 meters long. Courses are anywhere between 300 to 600 meters long, and each race is over in a thirty to sixty second long blur in which riders can wipe out in any number of wild ways.
“I was racing in Munich and the course was so fast I ended up doing a totally out of control 720 without even trying,” Renaud said. Other times, though, he hasn’t been so lucky.
“My hardest wipeout was probably in Finland this year. I came into a turn at 35 mph and the ice was so chewed up I just lost an edge and went straight into the boards.”
Still, Renaud has caught on quickly to the new sport, and currently ranks 43rd in the world. Part of his rapid rise has been his strong background in different styles of skating. Renaud began playing ice hockey when he was four, and he and most of the other top riders in the world can attribute their success, in part, to a background in hockey.
“Almost everyone in this sport has a hockey base, because you need to know how to skate,” Renaud said. Red Bull created the sport only a little over fifteen years ago, which makes everyone on tour older than the sport itself.
Since the top riders compete in and travel to so many events together, the group has developed strong ties despite fierce competition on the course.
“There are like 10 races over the year and they’re pretty much all with the same guys. Most of those races take place in a six week period in Europe in the middle of the season, and in between those races I’m just hanging out with them so we’ve become really good friends and there is a good camaraderie off the track,” he said.
Red Bull sponsors each large event, builds each track and pays the athletes after the races. According to Renaud, each track alone costs between $750,000 and two million dollars. Each Red Bull event—the entirety of Red Bull events are known as the Crashed Ice World Championship Series, Crashed Ice for short—usually requires the closure of city streets for a few weeks.
“All the courses are built of scaffolding, and then they put down these freezing tubes which are filled with glycol,” Renaud said. “When this freezes, it creates cooling mats and they just hose it down with water on top, which forms the ice. It’s a huge marketing expense for Red Bull, and all tickets are free.”
These events, which all take place in urban settings and feature the 64 best riders in the world, routinely draw crowds of up to 50,000 people. Even in Belfast last year, when Red Bull charged 11 Euros per ticket, over 40,000 people attended the event.
One of the frequent locations for Crashed Ice is Renaud’s hometown of Quebec City. The city has hosted an event almost every year since 2006, and Renaud frequently attended and marveled at the spectacle when he was younger.
“I always knew I wanted to try it out,” he said. “It was one of my dreams.”
When Renaud arrived at Bowdoin, he enjoyed a successful first season on the ice hockey team, and played in 28 of 29 games. However, by the end of the season he had started to become disenchanted with the sport he had played for so long, and felt a pull to branch out into unfamiliar territory.
“Sophomore year I tried to qualify for Crashed Ice and didn’t make it so I trained like crazy over that summer and won the Chicago qualifier. Then I went to St. Paul, MN and went on to do well at the World Championship,” he said.
St. Paul is also where Renaud travelled this past weekend for the last event of the season. He came into the weekend ranked 36th in the world, but unfortunately tripped over the waves and was eliminated in the round of 64, which bumped him down to 43rd in the world.
On his public Facebook page, Renaud explained that rollers (waves) were his weakness this season, and laid out his goals to practice waves over the summer and work on improving his balance in the air.
One of the toughest elements for Renaud has been balancing the travel schedule with being a full time student.
“I almost took this semester off—I was really close,” he said. “However, when my schedule came out I was so glad because I knew that I would be able to graduate on time.
Renaud’s first race this year was over Thanksgiving Break, and though he was still traveling across Europe for a week after the current semester began, he was able to arrange with his professors a way to get caught up with classes.
In terms of the future of ice cross downhill, there is a chance that it may become an Olympic spectator sport by 2018, and Renaud hopes to still be racing when it happens.
“I’ve been doing the sport for two years, and I’m still young compared to most riders,” he said. “The average age is like 25 or 26. I know that I can still improve a lot more.
“I think one of my favorite parts about these events is when you’re up at the top of a track, about to start a race, and you see so many people cheering, the music is so loud and the lights are all around you. Just an awesome feeling."
In addition to working tirelessly to improve his own skills on the track, Renaud has also spent recent summers bringing the sport to young kids back home. He is also working to bring an event to New England, which he hopes will materialize in the coming years.
Women's soccer kicks off playoffs at home tomorrow
For the third straight season, the Bowdoin women’s soccer team will host Tufts during the first weekend of the NESCAC championship tournament for a quarterfinal match. It’s also the second time the teams will face off this week, with the Polar Bears defeating the Jumbos on the road in their last regular season game by a score of 3-2 this past Tuesday. With the win, Bowdoin (10-4-1, 7-3-0 NESCAC) clinched the second seed, while Tufts (6-7-2, 4-5-1) is seeded seventh for the tournament.
“The fact that we’re playing them twice in the same week presents an interesting dilemma for us,” captain Bridget McCarthy ’16 said. “It’s obviously tough to beat a team twice in a row in the same week.”
The home field advantage should be an important factor in Saturday’s game, as the Polar Bears will not have to travel and also get the luxury of playing on a larger pitch than the one played on Tuesday. Bowdoin’s field has larger dimensions, and according to McCarthy, these are better suited to the Polar Bears’ slower, more calculated build-up play.
“Their field is really small and bumpy and narrow, and we’re a more possession-based team,” McCarthy said. “Our field is one of the nicer fields in the NESCAC and huge compared to theirs, so it kind of lets us play our style of game instead of theirs, which is much more direct and kind of kick and run.”
The teams come into the match seeded the same as last season. Bowdoin won the first round last year, 4-0, to snap a four-game winless playoff streak against the Jumbos. They had also played Tufts earlier that week and won 3-1.
“It’s an interesting situation,” McCarthy said. “But we [beat them twice] last year, and we’re going to do it again this year.”
McCarthy has high expectations for the Polar Bears, who have been to the NCAA championships every year she’s been on the team. But if the Polar Bears can beat the Jumbos on Saturday, they will have to face even higher-seeded opponents in the following rounds. In the semifinals, they will most likely be facing third-seed Amherst and then top-seed Williams if the Polar Bears were to emerge victorious. Williams will be facing the eighth-seed Hamilton in the first round, and Amherst will face the sixth-seed Middlebury.
The Polar Bears played both Williams and Amherst in September and lost 2-1 and 2-0, respectively. However, this was before the Polar Bears hit their stride. The team has won five games in a row heading into the playoffs.
“We had trouble scoring in the beginning of the season,” McCarthy said. “But now we’re scoring a lot of goals, so it’s looking good for us heading into the playoffs.”
A big part of the Polar Bears’ recent offensive tear has been the strong play of Maggie Godley ’16 and Jamie Hofstetter ’16. Both players have scored four goals over the past five games, which has helped turn the Polar Bears into a serious offensive threat right before postseason play.
“We’ve definitely been upward-trending throughout the season,” McCarthy said. “In the beginning of the year, we were just not finishing our opportunities, and games were much closer. Now we’re maybe letting up a few more goals, but we’re scoring a lot more goals.”
“Tufts is a very tough, physical team,” Head Coach Brianne Weaver said. “But we’re ready. We’re excited to be playing them for the second time in five days. ”
The team will hope to build on its recent playoff success starting tomorrow against the Jumbos at 1:30 p.m. on Pickard Field.
What it means to be a Mets fan
I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I decided to like sports, but I’m pretty sure I was a Mets fan long before then. After all, my dad and cousins and uncle all rooted for the Mets, and my mom’s side didn’t really seem to root for anyone. So it had to be orange and blue. Later, I would learn that my grandpa had been president of the company that built Shea Stadium, and even later I would learn that perhaps that wasn’t really the reason why we became Mets fans in the first place.
It hasn’t always been easy rooting for the Mets, ’06 through ’08—the years where I was still disillusioned enough to think that I myself could make it to the pros—were definitely the toughest. I remember going outside on a cold, rainy October night and tossing a baseball through tears with my dad after Beltran left the bat on his shoulder in ’06. I remember those agonizing weeks at the end of September the next year, when I watched our seven-game lead evaporate to none. I was there for that last game in ’07, when the collapse was complete, and I was there the next year for Shea’s last game in ’08, where they let another season slip away.
When they tore the stadium down that winter, I wondered if I could now be free from it all. After all, we were only fans because of grandpa, right? I don’t seriously have to keep putting myself through this every year?
Really, I wasn’t fooling anyone. After all, these were surface level questions, perhaps, I thought, not unlike the reason why my family became Mets fans in the first place. That felt more like a corporate, suit-and-tie, Yankee fan reason to like a team, and I still can’t understand how anyone with a soul can seriously feel an attachment to the Yankees. It’s like rooting for Tywin Lannister. Nobody really stands up and cheers when he does his job well (although he certainly has the “Re2pect” of all of Westeros).
I guess what I’m trying to say is that what may look like a superficial reason to be a Mets fan—my grandpa’s company getting the Shea job—is actually quite a personal one. In fact, when I bitterly tried to make a futile attempt at escaping Mets fanhood after ’08 by pointing this out to my dad, he told me that he didn’t remember any changes in his household while the Stadium was being built. Instead, he remembers going to the games in the early years, like when the team went 40-120 in ’62, and falling in love with them anyway. He remembers having trouble scoring the games during those years because we would invent new ways to lose. We were bad and we knew it, but things were fun. Then he remembers watching them become a pitching juggernaut in ’69, and winning it all out of nowhere.
But being a Mets fan, for me, is about more than a championship. It’s about pain and patience, shock, pleasant surprise and absolute pure joy. I know I shouldn’t care this much, but being a Mets fan isn’t that much different from anything you care strongly about. Yes, of course you want to win one, and what the team is doing right now is crazy, what with our three young flamethrowers and Murphy being unstoppable. We’re four wins from a World Series Championship, and somehow I wish we could just stay this close forever.
The Mets play Game One against the Royals tonight. Maybe we’ll win it all, and maybe not. Either way, this team is built for the future. Right now, though, I don’t want to think about what’s to come or what’s in the past. I’m just going to appreciate this special team for a little while longer.
After season of streaky play, men’s golf hopeful for future
The Bowdoin Men’s Golf team placed fifth of 12 at the Husson Invitational in late September, then came back the next week and tied for last place out of ten teams at the NESCAC Fall Qualifier. This inconsistent play characterized the team’s season.
“I would say this year we probably didn’t perform as well as expected,” captain Thomas Spagnola ’17 said. “Part of that is our inexperience, we’re a very young team. Not a lot of our players had seen the courses that we played on.”
Six of the 11 golfers are either first years or sophomores.
“In some ways [the team’s youth] was a weakness, but it was also a strength as well,” Spagnola said. “The young players definitely improved a lot over the course of the season, and I see them improving a lot in the future.”
“I think right away the four first years bought into our system, both on and off the course. We really got along well as a team. Even though we are graduating three players this year, our first years will be able to step into those roles,” he added.
The week after the NESCAC Qualifier, Bowdoin finished second of three teams at the CBB Championship, losing to Bates by six strokes and defeating Colby by 16. Bowdoin had defeated both teams at the Husson Invitational, but had finished behind Bates and tied for last with Colby at the NESCAC Qualifier. At the USM Invitational, the team’s final tournament of the year, Bowdoin finished sixth out of eight.
“I think despite our poor performance at NESCACs, we rebounded and played well in our last couple tournaments of the year,” Spagnola said.
One area where the team improved throughout the season was in course management—understanding how to play a round given the features of a particular course—an important part of tournament golf.
“It’s about knowing when you can take a risk, and knowing when to play it safe,” Spagnola said. “That’s something that our coaches really emphasized. When you’re out there, one mistake can lead to another, so we just worked hard on course management and minimizing those mistakes.”
Another good aspect of the team’s play was ball-striking ability, though the short game was a real struggle throughout the year.
“I would say we are very good drivers of the ball and have strong iron play, but we are notoriously bad putters, so that is something that we definitely need to work on in the off-season,” Spagnola said.
However, Maine winters make practicing golf in the off-season a difficult proposition, as cold and windy conditions quickly take over.
“I think we would improve more if we got better conditions for longer, but that’s just kind of the nature of New England golf and New England winters,” Spagnola said.
Despite the uneven season, Spagnola has high hopes for next year.
“Even though our results didn’t show it, we had a solid year. And we have a bright future-next year we’re hoping to make some noise.”
Women’s golf team shows improvement over course of season
The women’s golf team played in five tournaments this year, beginning with three tournaments in which they finished behind rival Bates. However, the Polar Bears progressed in the final two tournaments and finished ahead of Bates in both.
“One of our goals is to always beat Bates,” captain Maddy Fulton ’16 said. “We’re always pretty even in play, so it was a good accomplishment for us to be able to beat them in the last two.”Captain Meredith Sullivan ’16 noted that one of the strengths of the team was that players were able to adjust their game between the first day and the second day of a tournament.
“A lot of our players were dropping shots at every course,” Sullivan said. “We were able to take what we saw from the first day and use it to score better on the second.”
One example of this came when Diya Chopra ’18, shot an 80 in the second round of the Middlebury Invitational on October 4 after shooting an 89 in the first round.
“Dropping nine strokes from the first to the second day is unbelievable,” Sullivan said. “The girls from Williams were shooting like 77-78 so that was an unbelievable score and was really great to see.”
Williams finished first in the tournament, with an overall two-day score of 642, while Bowdoin finished ninth of 12 teams with a score of 778. However, Chopra’s nine-shot drop proved to be essential, as Bowdoin finished ahead of Bates by only seven strokes.
According to Sullivan, hitting a greater percentage of fairways on the drive also contributed to the team’s late-season improvement.
“We definitely got a lot more consistent off the tees,” Sullivan said. “During the beginning of the year, it was kind of a toss-up on tee shots, but towards the end, I know all of us were able to consistently hit a first shot that put us in a position to play a much stronger hole.”
One of the team’s weaknesses was its lack of experience, as two of six members had not yet seen the courses where the team played its tournaments. The team consisted of four sophomores, Sullivan and Fulton. Chopra and Karen Chan ’18 were new to the team this season.
Still, Fulton and Sullivan see the Polar Bears improving next year after having at least this year of experience under their belts.
“We’re going to be an upward trending team in the future,” Fulton said. “We were pretty young this year and we’re hopefully getting some good new first years as well.”
“Next year, more of us will be familiar with the courses where we play tournaments,” Sullivan said. “These are really hard courses, so it will be a huge advantage next year to have a bunch of veterans coming back.”
Bowdoin’s final tournament of the year was the NESCAC Championship, the first ever in NESCAC women’s golf history. The tournament took place this past Sunday. Bowdoin shot a 384 the first day, which was good for fifth of sixth and eight strokes ahead of Bates. The next day, the Polar Bears and the Wildcats both shot a 380, giving Bowdoin the finish ahead of its rival.
“We beat Bates but lost to everyone else. Hopefully in the future as the team grows, we will be able to climb up the rankings,” Fulton said. “I had a great time this season. I’m sad to be leaving after this year. I learned a lot and had some great coaches and great teammates. It was a good year.”
Polar Bears hope to sail their way to Nationals for third straight season
College sailing spans the course of two seasons, opening in September and closing in November before kicking back off in March and going as late as June. Most teams focus the majority of their efforts on the spring season, which features larger regattas and Nationals. Don’t tell that to Bowdoin’s sailors, though. The team opened their fall season red-hot by finishing in the top three of all four competitions they participated in last weekend.
The team raced all over New England last weekend, sending boats to Maine Maritime, where they sailed in the Penobscot Bay Open (PBO) and the Harman Cup. Two more teams competed in the FJ Invitational at Harvard University, and another competed at the Women’s Toni Deutsch Regatta at MIT.
Racing in the PBO were Matt Lyons ’17 and Dana Bloch ’17 in one boat, and Courtney Koos ’16 and Olivia Diserio ’16 in the other. The team finished third out of fifteen. Harrison Hawk ’18, Jack McGuire ’17, Louis Frumer ’18 and Sydney Jacques ’18 took on the Harman Cup. Despite tough conditions on Saturday, the team raced well enough on Sunday to nab a third place finish. In doing so, the Polar Bears qualified for the New England Sloop Championships for the first time since 2004. The Championships will be hosted by Salve Regina on October 17-18.
Meanwhile, Alex Vasiliou ’18, Nora Cullen ’18, Louisa Lindgren ’19, Matt Kaplan ’19, Jake Griffin ’18, Phil Koch ’16, Ellis Price ’18, and Emily Salitan ’16 competed at Harvard. The team placed first and second overall out of fifteen.
Also sailing on the Charles River were Erin Mullins ’16, Julia Rew ’16, Mimi Paz ’17 and Martie Ogle ’18, at the Toni Deutsch Regatta. The Polar Bears won this event, too, finishing first overall out of fifteen teams.
The success hasn’t affected Head Coach Frank Pizzo’s long-term approach to this year’s campaign, however.
“You know, our seasons are pretty long—we have a long fall season and then a bit of a break and then a long spring season—so I’m not really that worried about results right now,” said Pizzo. “I’m just trying to get our team to improve technique and find out who works well with who—those kind of things”
Nonetheless, the Polar Bears have showed a promising start to the season, with the end goal of returning to the national championships for the third straight year. With a lot of returners from last year’s Nationals team, Pizzo thinks the team has a strong chance of making it to Nationals again.
“We have a couple really good first years that have come in with a lot of enthusiasm,” Pizzo said. “All they want to do is learn from the more experienced people on our team. That’s been great.”
This year’s team features eleven first years and only twenty returners. Getting the new class integrated is one of the early challenges the team faces this season.
“We know it’s not going to be perfect,” Pizzo said. “Obviously we’re getting used to getting new people up to speed and used to practicing at our facility. We know it’s a process, but I would say so far, so good.”
The Polar Bears will continue their season next weekend with regattas at Connecticut College, MIT and UVM.
“It’s a busy time of year for sailing,” Pizzo said. “But we try to give lots of opportunities to race in September when the weather is still nice and maybe the workload is a little less.”
Men’s Soccer in pursuit of NESCAC championship repeat
In the early weeks of the new season, the Bowdoin Men’s Soccer Team will attempt to fill the gaps left by four key seniors on last year’s NESCAC-winning squad.
“Graduation from last year leaves us with some holes in personality and position,” Head Coach Scott Wiercinski said. “But we’re excited about how some of the older guys have already stepped up and really tried to stake claim to some of those responsibilities and roles.”
“We still have guys that played in the big games last year,” midfielder Ben Citrin ’16 said. “It feels similar to last year’s team in a lot of ways.”
Last year, Bowdoin’s defense clamped down and propelled the team to three consecutive road victories en route to its first ever NESCAC title. The last two games were decided by penalties after a scoreless regulation and overtime.
“Our defense really did a good job of containing opponents down the stretch,” Wiercinski said. “I think in order for us to repeat we need to step up and score more goals in important minutes. I think last year we created a lot of chances, but we’re going to need the shots to fall just inside the post instead of outside of it.”
This year’s team features lots of talent and experience up front, which should mean more goals.“We have players that can and need to change the scoreboard, and the good news is they know it,” Wiercinski said.
The players certainly received the message on Tuesday. The Polar Bears travelled to the University of New England (UNE) (1-2) and handily defeated the Nor’easters, 7-0. Six different players scored for Bowdoin (1-0), which surpassed its total from last season for most goals in a single game.
Forward Connor Keefe ’16 started the scoring in the fifth minute with a header off a corner from captain Andrew Jones ’16. The senior midfielder then got one of his own thirteen minutes later off a pass from the center of the field by midfielder Matt Dias-Costa ’17.
Bowdoin broke the game open early in the second half, with midfielder Moctor Niang ’19 knocking in a header in the fiftieth minute followed by Jones’s second goal off a one-time shot in the fifty-third.
Forward Cedric Charlier ’17 found the back of the net in the sixty-fifth minute, and Riley Bubb ’18 added another in the eighty-third.
Finally, Nick DiStefano ’18 converted a penalty in the closing minutes to finish out the scoring. It was the second year in a row he scored against UNE, with last year’s goal coming in a much tighter 2-0 affair.
Bowdoin finished the game with 20 shots—11 on goal—while the Nor’easters finished with four shots and one on goal.
“It was really good to get to get some younger guys some experience,” Citrin said. “We have much tougher games coming up, I think four in a row. But it was good to get a game under our belt.”
Still, the win was encouraging for multiple reasons. First, it showed that scoring may be a strength for the Polar Bears going forward. But it also showed that Bowdoin can win on the road, something the team managed to do only three times in ten tries last year.
“I feel like our team is at a good point right now,” Wiercinski said. “As we move forward we really need to coalesce and come together as a group with a real structure and style, and I trust that we’ll do that.”
The team faces a tough test Saturday, September 12 at Amherst at 2:30 p.m. The game will be a rematch of last year’s NESCAC title game, which Bowdoin won 5-4 on penalty kicks.
Baseball wins 3 of 4 to close out conference play
After an injury-filled season, baseball strung together three key victories in its final four divisional games to finish with a 6-6 record in the NESCAC East and a chance to qualify for the NESCAC tournament this weekend.
Heading into the weekend, Bowdoin’s playoff hopes depend on the Trinity-Bates series. Both teams are 4-5 in NESCAC play, and Bowdoin owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over Bates, but not over Trinity. The only scenario where Bowdoin qualifies, then, is if Bates wins exactly two out of three over the Bantams.
On Friday, Bowdoin defeated rival Colby 7-4 in the first of a three-game set. Then, in the Saturday doubleheader, the Polar Bears won the first 5-3, and lost the second 4-3. Finally, in Tuesday’s must-win against Bates, Bowdoin blew out the Bobcats 15-4. In an out of conference game yesterday, however, the Polar Bears fell 6-2 to the University of Southern Maine (USM).
“I would say the reason we’ve been playing so well down the stretch is that we’ve had a consistent, healthy lineup over the last two weekends,” captain Aaron Rosen ’15 said. “All year, injuries to key players have not only taken guys out of games but also made the transition back into offense kind of hard.”
One of the keys to Bowdoin’s success has been the exceptional performances of Henry Van Zant ’15, who pitched a complete game on Friday and another stellar eight innings on Tuesday. Van Zant leads the NESCAC with a 5-0 in-conference record and is 7-1 overall in nine starts with a 1.95 ERA.
“It’s always cool to watch Henry,” Rosen said. “Especially when his arm is hanging after the 130 or so pitches he threw on Friday. He threw another 140 yesterday; you always know you’re going to get a gritty performance out of him.”
In Friday’s victory, the teams were locked at 4-4 going into the bottom of the seventh. With two outs in the inning, Chris Cameron ’15 punched a single up the middle that scored Rosen and Erik Jacobsen ’15 to put the Polar Bears ahead for good. Sam Canales ’15 followed with another single that scored Cole DiRoberto ’15 and pushed Bowdoin’s lead to three.
“Over the course of the weekend, our bats came alive,” Head Coach Mike Connelly said. “So many of our games have really been decided by that big two out hit, and this weekend we got some big hits in some key spots.”
In the first of two Saturday games, Bowdoin scored four runs in the second inning and tacked on another in the third. That was all the run support Harry Ridge ’16 needed to put down the Mules, and he struck out six while walking only one. Chris Nadeau ’16, Sean Mullaney ’17, Cameron, Jacobsen, and DiRoberto each had an RBI for the Polar Bears in a team victory.
In the second game, Bowdoin blew a three run lead and lost to Colby in extra innings despite a strong performance from Rosen, who hit a two-run homer and stole two bases. It was Rosen’s fifth home run of the year, tied for second in the NESCAC.
The first three innings of Tuesday’s landslide win over Bates were a showcase in hitting from both teams, with the Polar Bears leading 6-4 going into the top of the fourth. It would continue that way for Bowdoin, as they scored three runs in each of the fifth, sixth and ninth innings. However, once Van Zant settled in Bates was denied another run. Bowdoin put the game out of reach in the fifth when Chad Martin ’16 crushed a three run homer to put the Polar Bears ahead 9-4.
“That game was a blast,” Rosen said. “As coach said, that was the easy part. Now we have to wait and see if we make it into the tournament, and that’s the tough part.”
“I’m just praying that we get into the thing,” Rosen said. “If we somehow sneak in, I feel like we can win it all with the way we’ve been playing.”
Bowdoin will close out its regular season with three games over the weekend: a doubleheader at home against Middlebury on Saturday and an away game at St. Joseph’s. None of these three games will affect their playoff chances, regardless of result.
Baseball loses two out of three to Trinity with only two weeks to play
Bowdoin dropped the last two games in a three-game series against Trinity (12-12 overall, 5-5 NESCAC) last weekend before blowing out Thomas, 10-4, in a rain-shortened game on Tuesday. The results brought Bowdoin’s record to 11-16 on the season, and 3-5 within the NESCAC. One of the highlights in the Trinity series was senior captain Henry Van Zant’s quality start in the opener. Van Zant did not allow a hit until the sixth inning and completed the game with seven strikeouts. Trinity mounted a rally in the final frame and pushed a run across the plate, but Van Zant retired the final two batters to preserve a 3-1 victory for the Polar Bears. The win improved Van Zant’s record to 5-1 on the year and brought his ERA down to 1.26. Bowdoin got all the offense it would need for the victory in the first inning with RBI singles from Chad Martin ’16 and Bjorn Hansen ’17. Martin also hit an RBI triple in the third inning to give the Polar Bears a 3-0 lead. Bowdoin opened up the doubleheader on Saturday with a 1-0 defeat to the Bantams. Pitchers on both teams went for a complete game. Despite the loss, captain Erik Jacobsen ’15 struck out two and gave up four hits with no walks in a stellar outing. The lone run in the game came in the fourth inning when Trinity tallied three consecutive two-out singles.
In the last game of the series, both teams were locked at 2-2 from the third until the final inning. Captain Aaron Rosen ’15 launched a solo home run down the left field line in the third inning to even up the score. It was Rosen’s fourth home run of the year—which ties him with Martin for a team high. Trinity’s bats came alive in the final frame, and the Bantams crossed the plate four times. Bowdoin got one run back in the bottom half of the inning, as Tom Wells ’15 drove in Martin. After losing the conference series at home, Bowdoin won handily against Thomas on Tuesday despite making five errors. Michael Staes ’16 got the start for Bowdoin and struck out seven over five innings while only giving up two runs on two hits. The Polar Bears took advantage of several wild pitches by the Terriers in the first inning, when they tallied four runs. The Polar Bears scored five more in the fifth, three of which came on a bases-clearing double from Stephen Girolamo ’16. The game was called short in the sixth due to rain, with Bowdoin already ahead by six runs. The Polar Bears will return to action at home against Colby today at 3 p.m.
Baseball heads south for season-opening play
After playing 13 games in 11 days, the baseball team returned from its annual trip to Florida on March 20 with a 5-8 record. The trip was defined by three distinct stretches. The team went 1-4 in its first five games. It then seemed to find its form, going 4-1 over a four-day stretch before dropping its last three games in Florida.
“In the middle games we started to hit our stride and we got used to playing outside,” Captain Aaron Rosen ’15 said. “Guys were getting healthier and things were starting to pick up, but then by the end of the trip things started to drag a little. Thirteen games in 11 days is a lot, so there’s an expected drop in energy level.”
“I hate to make excuses,” he continued, “but when we got down there we hadn’t even practiced on an actual baseball field yet. We also lost a couple of key guys due to injuries in the first couple games so we were battling from the start.”
Despite the difficulties in the early games, Rosen said that younger players did a great job stepping in for injured players.
“Guys who really weren’t expected to play have filled in and done a great job,” he said. “Evann Dumont-Lapointe ’17 and Nick Sadler ’18 have been awesome, and so have a bunch of other guys. It’s kind of been a seamless transition.”
Over the course of the 13 games, first baseman Chad Martin ’16 batted .340 with a team-leading 15 RBIs and three home runs. Third baseman Cole DiRoberto ’15 hit .367, infielder Sean Mullaney ’17 hit .378, and Rosen—who plays shortstop—hit .375 with two home runs.
On the mound, captain Henry Van Zant ’15 went 1-1 with 20 strikeouts in 14 innings pitched and passed a 2.57 ERA. Michael Staes ’16 went 1-0 in two starts with a 1.64 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 10 innings. Harry Ridge ’16 went 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA in three starts, and captain Erik Jacobsen ’15 went 1-2 with a 4.71 ERA.
One of the highlights of the trip was Bowdoin’s 5-1 win over Endicott on March 16. Harry Ridge ’16 pitched six shutout innings against the Gulls, who have gone to the NCAA Regional Championship and won over thirty games in each of the last two seasons. The last time the two teams played, Endicott won 11-3.
“They’re a phenomenal team,” Rosen said. “They always play us tough and usually beat us, but Harry went out there and just shut them down. I think in general there were a lot of games where we didn’t roll over and die. We came up with a lot of late rallies, and I think that just speaks to the character of the team overall.”
Bowdoin has always placed a strong emphasis on pitching, though Rosen says that the hitters this year are better than in years past. This was evident in offensive onslaughts in victories against Roger Williams (18-3) and Babson (16-9). Against Roger Williams, Martin went 5-5 with seven RBI, and four extra base hits including two home runs.
“It’s weird because this is the worst record at this point in the seasonin my four years here,” Rosen said, “but I’m 100 percent confident that this is the best team we have had talent-wise.”
The Polar bears will look to get their season back on track in a three game series against Tufts this weekend at the New England Baseball Complex in Northboro, Mass.
Men’s hockey stumbles into fifth seed in NESCAC
In their last two games of the regular season, the men’s hockey team (14-7-3 overall, 8-7-3 NESCAC) fell to Connecticut College (13-9-2 overall, 10-7-1 NESCAC)at home, 4-1, on Friday night but rebounded Saturday against Tufts, 4-0, in the seniors’ final home game at Watson Arena.
The loss put Conn. College ahead of Bowdoin in conference standings, and took away any chance of the Polar Bears hosting a playoff game next week.
The loss to Conn. College was only the second loss at home for the Polar Bears this season. Zach Kokosa ’17 scored Bowdoin’s lone goal, which tied the game late in the first period. Kokosa received the puck in the neutral zone and skated into the Camels’ defense before burying a snapshot over the goalie’s right shoulder into the back of the net.
However, Conn. College retook the lead with less than two minutes to go in the second period, and padded its lead with two more goals before the end of the game. Despite the loss, Bowdoin outshot the Camels, 35-23, and had two shots bounce off the post.
“We didn’t get a lot of red lights on Friday night and we would have liked to have gotten a few more timely saves,” said Head Coach Terry Meagher. “That was the main difference between Friday and Saturday night.”
With seemingly little to play for against Tufts in the final regular season game, Bowdoin still came out firing, and finished with a satisfying shutout victory.
“For me the highlight of the weekend was that the team came back from the loss on Friday and played with energy and intensity,” Meagher said. “It showed that this a team of character to come back and play a complete game. This team is not a mail-in team, they don’t mail in any games or practices.”
Bowdoin took a 1-0 lead 8:35 into the first period when Spencer Antunez scored ’18 scored the first of his two goals in the period. Connor Quinn ’15 fed Antunez a pass to the right post where Antunez one-timed it for the lead. On a power play in the 16th minute, Antunez doubled the lead with a shot that deflected off the crossbar into the net.
In the final period, Mike Schlagel ’15 scored his first Bowdoin goal in his final regular season game. With the goalie pulled, Schlagel maneuvered his way around the Tufts defense and slid the puck into the back of the net. One minute later, with the goalkeeper back in net, Danny Palumbo ’15 secured the 4-0 win after knocking in a rebound off a Ryan Collier shot ’15. Max Fenkell ’15 earned his fifth career shutout in his final regular season game, and made 20 saves in the win.
This weekend, fifth seed Bowdoin will travel to four seed Williams for the first round of the NESCAC tournament. Bowdoin will look to defend its NESCAC title for the third straight year, winning as the one seed in 2013 and the five-seed last year.
“Williams and Bowdoin have had a lot of exciting competition over the last five or six years in these single elimination tournaments so we’re ready, they’re ready, and both teams have great respect for each other,” Meagher said.
The teams have played twice this season. The first game was a 3-3 tie at Bowdoin, and the second was a 5-2 Polar Bear loss at Williams. The teams will meet this Saturday at Williams at 3 p.m.
Mens hockey slips below .500 in conference play
Last weekend, the men’s hockey team wrapped up a two-game road trip with a 2-2 tie against Middlebury and a 5-2 loss to Williams. On Wednesday, they responded with a 6-1 win over the University of Southern Maine (USM).
At Middlebury, the Polar Bears found themselves down 2-1 late in the third period. With the goalie pulled, Jason Nawrocki ’18 scored his first career Bowdoin goal with 1:22 remaining in the game to tie the score at two.
“That was an all-around team effort on Friday night. It was a good battle,” said captain Danny Palumbo ’15. “Coming back after being 2-1 down late in the third showed a lot of resiliency. We put it all on the line and got the job done.”
Earlier in the season, Bowdoin defeated Middlebury 6-0. However, the Panthers have improved markedly since then.
“They were coming off road wins against two of the top five teams in the country,” Palumbo said. “So they were definitely a different team—especially at home too.”
Still, Bowdoin made enough plays to come away with a point against Middlebury. Against Williams, however, the Polar Bears were not so lucky.
“We worked hard from start to finish against Williams,” said Palumbo. “But we kind of dug ourselves into a hole after the first period and allowed three goals. I think our lines were clicking and we had pretty sustained pressure in the offensive zone, but other than that the three goal deficit in the first period definitely hurt us.”
Earlier in the season, the two teams played to a 3-3 draw. Bowdoin outshot Williams 36-30 in that game. Despite outshooting Williams again last weekend, 29-27, Bowdoin was unable to hit the back of the net as effectively as the Ephs. Connor Quinn ’15 and Spencer Antunez ’18 scored the two goals for the Polar Bears.
“We had four or five scoring chances that we didn’t capitalize on, so that was a game changer for us,” added Palumbo.
Bowdoin dropped to 9-5-3 (4-5-3 NESCAC) following the loss, while Williams improved to 11-3-2 (7-2-1 NESCAC).
Bowdoin returned to action with Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over USM. Zach Kokosa ’17 netted a scrum goal in the first period to kick off the scoring.
Daniel McMullan ’18 scored next with less than a minute to play in the first. Mitch Barrington ’17 gave the Polar Bears a three-goal lead with a power play goal early in the second period before pushing the lead to four with his second soon after. Antunez and Camil Blanchet ’18 each tallied one goal in the third to give the Polar Bears a total of six goals.
Bowdoin gets this weekend off and will next face Hamilton at home on February 6 at 7 p.m.
Men’s soccer ends dream run after loss to Brandeis
On Sunday, men’s soccer suffered a season-ending 1-0 loss to Brandeis in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The team defeated The College at Brockport 3-2 in overtime the day before, to advance past the first round.
It was the first time the team had made an appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2010, when they advanced to the semi-finals before a loss to Lynchburg College knocked them out of the tournament.
“We always had high expectations for ourselves at the beginning of the season,” captain Thomas Henshall ’15 said. “Our goal was to win a NESCAC championship and by doing that make an NCAA appearance. I always thought that we had the ability to do that and we are very pleased with that overall.”
Against Brockport, Bowdoin fell behind twice before moving ahead for good. The Ellsworths took the lead in the 5th minute when leading scorer Peter DiLorenzo ’17 scored off a cross on the game’s first shot.
“I think DiLorenzo is as good as a forward as we have played all season long,” Head Coach Scott Wiercinski said.
Bowdoin struck back in the 41st minute when Henshall hit a hard shot that deflected off a Brockport player and into the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1. Brockport regained the lead in the 59th minute when a corner kick went directly into the goal. Bowdoin equalized in the 70th minute when Nabil Odulate ’16 headed in a corner from Sam Ward ’18. The Ellsworths dominated the first few minutes of overtime until Hunter Miller ’16 stole the ball at midfield, dribbled his way through several defenders, then passed the ball into the lower-right corner of the net for game winning goal, which doubled as his first goal of the year.“To go down twice in a game and still win shows a lot out of the team and kind of represented our whole season,” captain Eric Goitia ’15.
Brockport led 13-12 in shots, and 5-4 on corner kicks. Both teams had 4 shots on goal.“I thought the guys were really mature and really mentally tough to come back from some of the mistakes that we were making,” said Wiercinski. “So in that way it was really rewarding to come away with a win because we made things difficult for ourselves at a couple of points.”In the second round, Bowdoin was locked in a scoreless tie with Brandeis at the end of the first half, despite the Judges’ controlling play. They outshot Bowdoin 9-0 in the first half. The Polar Bears nearly had a goal in the 4th minute, though, off the head of Matt Dias Costa ’17, who was ruled offsides.
“I think Brandeis is skilled in a lot of ways,” said Wiercinski. “They pass the ball as well as any team we’ve played all year and play an aggressive style on defense. But I thought our guys really stuck to the game plan, and playing against such a good opponent in Brandeis is just difficult.” In the second half, Brandeis scored the game winner in the 60th minute off a header that found its way just inside the far post. The Judges outshot Bowdoin 18-4 over the course of the game, with five of Brandeis’ shots being on goal to Bowdoin’s two. Brandeis advanced to 19-2 on the season with the win, while Bowdoin concluded the season with a 10-7-3 record.
“It was a disappointing way to end our season,” Wiercinski continued. “Only one team in the country finishes with a win, and we’re not that team unfortunately. But I think the adventure we had as a team was just an awesome experience, and I think the guys can always look to that NESCAC championship and feel like there’s really something that came out of that hard work and camaraderie and effort.”
Men's soccer wins first ever NESCAC title
The men’s soccer team pulled off two stunning upsets over Middlebury and Amherst to win its first-ever NESCAC championship last weekend. The title earned the team the right to play in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2010.
Both matches were settled with penalty shootouts after 110 minutes of scoreless play. Against Middlebury in the semifinal, goalkeeper Stevie Van Siclen ’18 made three saves in the shootout to secure a 3-2 victory. He made two more—including one that won the championships—the following day in the shootout against Amherst.
“To save five penalties out of 11 is kind of ridiculous,” Head Coach Scott Wiercinski said. “We see him do it in practice all the time, but it’s a lot less important in practice than it is in a conference final.”
Van Siclen was named NESCAC Player of the Week after posting his fifth and sixth clean sheets of the season.
The sixth-seeded Polar Bears had previously lost to both the fourth-seeded Panthers and second-seeded Lord Jeffs in the regular season, and were excited about their opportunities for revenge.
“I think we were really excited to play against Middlebury and Amherst again,” said captain Eric Goitia ’15. “Middlebury has two offensive guys that are very good goal scorers so that challenge was one that excited us, and I think the defense really stepped up to the plate there.”
“Amherst is also a very powerful, aggressive team,” added Goitia. “We knew what we were getting into and were confident that we could handle that.”
Amherst had lost only one game all season, and Bowdoin’s win in the finals ended the Lord Jeffs’ streak of three consecutive NESCAC titles. It was only Bowdoin’s third appearance in the NESCAC final after losses to Wesleyan in 2003 and to Middlebury in 2010 on penalty kicks.“We wanted to focus on our game and play the way that we play,” Goitia said.
“We went into the games not worrying about what Amherst and Middlebury had necessarily done in the past, and more just focusing on what we could control and how we would play the game that we wanted to play,” Goitia continued.
In the semifinals, the Panthers had two fantastic opportunities to score in the second overtime period. However, Van Siclen made two timely saves—one a diving stop at his own goal line—to stay level at 0-0. Bowdoin’s best opportunity to score came in the 96th minute, when Thomas Henshall ’15 struck a shot from the right wing that skimmed off the crossbar. Middlebury held a 13-10 lead in shots, while Bowdoin led 6-3 in corner kicks.
In the finals, Amherst had a chance to score in the 19th minute off a corner kick, but overshot the crossbar. Sam White ’15 and Henshall each produced shots on goal in the first half, but the Amherst keeper was there to deny them both. In the second half, Amherst held a 6-2 lead in shots, which included a shot that hit the post. Still, no team scored in regulation or overtime. Amherst had 17 shots to Bowdoin’s eight, but both teams had three on goal. Bowdoin led 11-4 on corner kicks.
“Our defense was fantastic,” Wiercinski said. “I thought the games were a little bit cagey and a little bit of a chess match. Nobody wanted to make a mistake, especially early in the games. But the defense has been getting better and better as a group in recent weeks. It’s really a long way from where we started the season when we gave up some goals that were kind of head scratchers.”
In addition to fantastic defense, part of Bowdoin’s late-season success has come from a levelheaded approach from its senior leaders.
“I think our leaders have been awesome all season,” said Wiercinski.
“Our senior captains and other seniors on the team that maybe aren’t dubbed captains have had a really mature approach to focusing on the next game, even after we had some difficult results. Even after we lost to Babson there wasn’t anybody second-guessing where the season was going, there was just a real streamlined approach to focusing on the next match.”
The team has also received some late-season help from players returning from injury.
“We had a couple guys who have been injured on and off throughout the year that are coming back and can hopefully continue to stay healthy as we go into the NCAA Tournament,” said Wiercinski.
Unfortunatley, Connor Keefe ’16, whose return to the field after a month sitting out with a concussion helped the Polar Bears secure a tournament bid, went down with a leg injury in overtime in the Amherst game and will be out for the Polar Bears’ tournament run.
The last time the team made it to the NCAA tournament in 2010 it also won the NESCAC championship in penalty kicks.
Four years ago the team carried its momentum from the NESCAC tournament win all the way to the NCAA tournament semifinals, where its season ended in a 2-1 loss to Lynchburg College.
Bowdoin will play SUNY Brockport at Brandeis at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday in the first round of the NCAA D-III tournament.
After a strong start to the season the Brockport Ellsworths have only won two of their last four games, including a semifinal loss to SUNY Cortland in the SUNYAC conference tournament last weekend.
Still, its play early in the season was enough for the NCAA selection committee to grant the Ellsworths an at-large bid to the tournament—an honor the Polar Bears most likely would not have earned had the not won the NESCAC title.
“It’s going to be a good challenge,” said Wiercinski. “From our research they’re quite an athletic, physical and fast team. So it’ll be a good test—we’ll see where we’re at.”
If the Polar Bears beat SUNY Brockport tomorrow they will play the winner of Brandeis University and Husson University the following day.
Bowdoin beat Husson 4-0 earlier this season.
Mens soccer shoots its way to NESCAC semifinals
Sam White ’15 scored late in Bowdoin’s NESCAC quarterfinal game to upset the hosting Ephs 2-1 on Saturday in a wild game.
White scored from 25 yards out with a shot into the left corner in the 79th minute to give the Polar Bears the lead. It was White’s team-leading fifth goal of the season.
After missing the last two games due to injury, White scoreed his second game-winner of the year and earned Co-NESCAC Player of the Week honors.
The victory was the Polar Bear’ first win over Williams in postseason play in six tries, dating back to 1988. With the win, the team advances to its second straight NESCAC semifinal.
“We knew that it was win or go home so we were excited to just get out there and play,” said captain Eric Goitia ’15.
The No. 6 seed Polar Bears upset of No. 3 seed Williams was not the only surprise in NESCAC soccer last weekend. No. 8 seed Connecticut College beat top seeded Tufts 2-1, meaning that Amherst is the top remaining seed and will host the remainder of the tournament this weekend.
Tufts had lost only one game all season prior to Saturday and had yet to lose a conference match. Conn. College’s win puts the Camels into their first ever NESCAC tournament semifinal.
“I really think we played pretty well in all facets of the game,” said Head Coach Scott Wiercinski. “I thought in the first half we didn’t do much to generate a whole lot of offense, but at the same time our defense was really good and we didn’t give up a whole lot of chances in the first half.”
In the 48th minute, Nabil Odulate ’16 drove home Bowdoin’s first goal following a corner kick. The goal was Odulate’s first of the year. The team conceded a goal just five minutes later. “It was a little disappointing that after we scored our first goal we gave up the tying goal quickly thereafter,” Wiercinski said. “But they are a really good team. They really came at us after we scored the goal and were really aggressive.”
“I do think we were able to settle down in some ways after they scored. I think we did a really good job of just getting back at it and passing the ball and moving well,” he said. The Polar Bears outshot the Ephs 13 to eight and had twice as many shots on goal. All of Bowdoin’s shots on goal came in the second half. The Polar Bears also held a slight 7-6 edge in corner kicks.
“I think we came together well in the second half and started to create a lot of dangerous opportunities,” Goitia said.
The team faces Middlebury at Amherst on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. With a win, the Polar Bears would advance to their first NESCAC final since 2010. If the team wins the NESCAC tournament will recieve an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, which the team also has not reached since 2010.
Last year’s team failed to recieve an at-large bid after losing a heartbreaking double overtime game to eventual NCAA quarterfinalist Amherst.
Men’s soccer completes middling season on high note
The men’s soccer team rebounded from a loss to Colby over the weekend with a 2-2 draw against Tufts on Wednesday.
The Jumbos were ranked 12th nationally before the game and the draw earned the Bears the sixth seed in the NESCAC tournament, which begins this weekend.
In the game against Colby, the Polar Bears were neck-and-neck with the Mules until they conceded a goal with only 12 minutes remaining in the game.
Despite many injuried players, Bowdoin played evenly with the Mules for most of the game. “I think we played OK,” Head Coach Scott Wiercinski said. “Colby is a team that is a lot better than they have been, and they are very committed and play with a lot urgency, which is difficult to play against sometimes.”
“It wasn’t our best game, but it’s something that we learned a lot from and it’s important to get a game like that out of the way right before the playoffs,” said senior captain Eric Goitia. Colby held a 7-4 edge on shots, but Bowdoin led 4-2 on corner kicks.
“They defended really well after they scored,” Wiercinski said. “We created a few chances but most of them were kind of half chances, not really great chances.”
The loss dropped Bowdoin to 4-5 in conference play, and 8-6 in the season overall. Colby improved to 3-5-2 in the league, and 7-5-3 overall.
In Wednesday’s game against Tufts Bowdoin conceded the first goal in the 16th minute. The league-leading Jumbos continued to control possession throughout the half, eventually capitalizing again two minutes before the end of the first period.
Bowdoin seemed to be well over-matched—with only three shots attempted in the first half compared to Tufts’ 11—until Kiefer Solarte ’16 sent a cross into the box where Nick DiStefano ’18 was able to head the pass into the goal.
Only three minutes later the Polar Bears were awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal. Eric Goitia ’15 proceeded to bend a shot behind the diving Tufts keeper to even the score with under 20 minutes to play.
The Polar Bears have had an up-and-down season. Midway through this fall, the team went on a tear and won five straight games in a row. Following the streak the team has faltered, losing three out of its last five games.
“I think we’ve unfortunately had a constant revolving door of challenges throughout the season,” said Wiercinski.
“Injuries are true for any team, but I feel like some of our injuries have really hampered what we’re capable of doing. I think a lot of our season has been about striving to fix some things rather than achieving our potential.”
Fortunately, the Polar Bears will be getting many recovering players back for the playoffs. “The team is certainly going to be its healthiest that it’s been for a long time, and that’s really encouraging and invigorating,” said Wiercinski.
Bowdoin will be on the road for its first-round playoff match in the NESCAC tournament tomorrow. The team is 2-5 in road games this season. Despite its lack of road success the team is looking forward to showcasing its improved play.
“We’re alright with being on the road,” said Wiercinski. “We’ve won some games on the road, and we’ll try to do it again this weekend.”
Based on their current record it is doubtful that the Polar Bears will recieve an automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Championships. In order to make it to the championships the team will need will need to go far, if not win, the NESCAC tournament.
The tie against the league-leading Jumbos will hopefully give the struggling team confidence going into tomorrow’s 1 p.m. game at third seeded Williams and propel them into the NESCAC tournament.
Men’s soccer splits play in last weekend’s matches
On Saturday, the men’s soccer team won 2-0 at home against Connecticut College. The following day at Babson, Bowdoin was defeated 1-0 in double overtime. In the first half against Conn. College neither team managed a goal.
“I don’t think we played very well in the first half,” Head Coach Scott Wiercinski said. “I thought we got pushed around a little bit because they’re a very athletic, physical team.”
That changed in the second half. Thomas Henshall ’15 opened the scoring for the Polar Bears in the 56th minute. Henshall fired a shot in the lower left corner after Kiefer Solarte ’16 dribbled past the Camels’ defense and played a cross for the assist.
“I thought Kiefer was the man of the match,” Wiercinski said. “He defended their talented left-winger really well and provided the assist on the first goal, so he got it done on both ends of the field. I thought both our outside backs were really good.”
In the 72 minute, Cedric Charlier ’17 doubled the Polar Bears advantage with an assist from Sam Ward ’18. Ward passed to Charlier in the box, who, facing away from the goal, locked his defender behind him and turned and shot the ball into the lower left corner of the net. It was the first goal of the year for Charlier, who was sidelined with an injury for most of the season.
“We’re very excited to have him back,” Wiercinski said. “He’s a big, strong kid so when the game is athletic and physical that’s when he can do really well. He gets things done—sometimes awkwardly—but he makes a big difference for what we’re capable of doing.”
With the win, the Polar Bears improved to 8-4 overall and 4-4 in the NESCAC, while the Camels fell to 5-7-1 overall and 2-5-1 in conference play. Conn. College finished with eight shots, five on goal, while Bowdoin finished with nine shots, seven on target.
Against Babson, both teams were held scoreless all the way into double overtime, where Babson scored in the first 35 seconds. Bowdoin’s best chances came in the second half. In the 50th minute Ward hit a strike from 25 yards out that the Beavers’ goalkeeper knocked down. Later, Matt Dias Costa ’17 missed just outside the six yard box.
“I thought we did enough to create a few chances, but not a lot of chances,” Wiercinski said. “I don’t think we gave up many chances either.”
“I would say people were tired,” captain Eric Goitia ’15 said. “But Babson had two games in two days too, so that’s not an excuse we’re using. I thought we did well against Babson. Our numbers were low and some guys got injured early on so I thought we did well considering the limited amount of players that we had.”
Bowdoin finished with 11 shots, three of which were on goal, and the Beavers finished with 16 shots, six on goal.
“A lot of guys have been hurt, but we got a lot of guys stepping up and doing well and we’re hoping to get a handful of our injured players back,” Wiercinski said.
The Polar Bears visit Colby tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. and then welcome Tufts on Wednesday for their season finale.
Men’s soccer hot streak gets cut off after loss to Williams
Before losing to Williams 2-0 on Sunday, the men’s soccer team was playing its best soccer of the season and enjoying a five-game win streak. The Polar Bears now stand at 7-4 (3-4 NESCAC) as they head into their final four regular season games.
The streak included wins over University of New England, Husson University, Trinity College, University of Southern Maine (USM) and Hamilton College. In four of those games the team did not concede a single goal.
A day after beating Hamilton, the team went on the road against Williams. Despite the loss, Bowdoin was only narrowly outshot by the Ephs (14-11) and held a 9-1 advantage on corner kicks. The Polar Bears almost tied the game early in the second half on a header by Nick DiStefano ’18, Williams increased its lead to two with eight minutes remaining on its lone corner kick.
Two weeks ago Bowdoin outshot Trinity 10-2 in the first half, but the score remained 0-0 at the break. In the second half, Sam White ’15 scored both goals for the Polar Bears, who maintained the 2-0 shutout.
“I thought the guys came out with a lot of healthy energy,” said Head Coach Scott Wiercinski. “I thought our mid-field shape didn’t give them a whole lot of space to operate, and defensively we kept the ball in front of us when they had possession. I thought defensively it was our best effort so far.”
With the win over Trinity, Bowdoin moved to 2-3 in conference games.
“We were excited to get back into the NESCAC and prove that we can win in the league,” said Captain Eric Goitia ’15. “So naturally there was a lot of energy that came from that, and we had a lot of confidence from our last two games against UNE and Husson.”
Despite only a day of rest after the Trinity game, Bowdoin came out firing in its next contest against USM on October 6. The team ultimately won 6-0, and scored five second-half goals.“Against USM, we came through a lot in the second half and started to move the ball a lot more, which increased our confidence. It was a complete performance,” said Goitia.
Thomas Henshall ’15 opened the scoring in the 45th minute, followed by three consecutive goals by Austin Downing ’17 in the 56th, 58th and 60th minutes. Ben Ginzberg ’18 and Pat Kearon ’17 also had goals for the Polar Bears.
“I thought we passed the ball pretty well and created a lot of chances, though we didn’t do a good job hitting the frame in the first half,” said Wiercinski. “In the second half we did a better job of stretching them out and finishing our chances.”
At Hamilton last weekend, senior Sam White opened the scoring in the 11th minute with his fourth goal of the season. Goitia followed early in the second half, scoring the eventual game winner off of a free kick. After the Polar Bears conceded a goal, Matt Dias Costa ’17 scored an insurance goal in the 72nd minute to secure a 3-1 win.
The Polar Bears resume action this Saturday at home against Connecticut College, who is just behind them in the standings, at 12 p.m.
Men’s soccer builds confidence with Husson win
After eight days of rest and practice, the men’s soccer team returned to the pitch on Wednesday to defeat Husson University, 4-0, at home.
With this triumph the Polar Bears have won consecutive games for the first time this season and improve their record to 4-3 overall. Sam Ward ’18 opened the scoring in the 26th minute after Connor Keefe ’16 found Ward open at the top of the box. He took a shot that hooked just under the crossbar to give Bowdoin a 1-0 lead.
Ben Citrin ’16 doubled the Polar Bear lead just before halftime with a fantastic individual effort. After his initial shot rebounded off the post Citrin regained possession and found the back of the net the second time, giving the Polar Bears a 2-0 lead. Citrin finished the game with a goal and two assists.
Bowdoin scored again in the 54th minute when captain Eric Goitia ’15 headed a corner kick from Citrin into the goal for his second score of the season. The scoring ended just seven minutes later when Citrin and Kiefer Solarte ’16 worked the ball into the middle of the box for Colton Hall ’16, who scored for the first time this season.
“We focused a lot this week on getting shots on target,” said Goitia. “We did that a lot yesterday and tested the keeper a lot, which was a good collective effort from the whole team.” The loss snapped the Eagles’ four game win streak, and brought them to 6-4 overall. Bowdoin controlled possession for most of the game, finishing with 34 total shots and 16 on goal, while Husson finished with just two shots, both on goal.
“It was a pretty complete game,” said Goitia. “We did well defensively and scored four goals offensively. We did a good job controlling possession and finished our opportunities when we got them. I think we had a good performance against UNE last week too.”
Bowdoin has shut out their opponents in each of the last two games. Having complete games from start to finish has been one of their goals since the beginning of the season, according to Goita.
“We’re taking it one game at a time right now,” Goitia said. “Obviously every win is good and builds confidence, but we’re excited to get back in the NESCAC and prove that we’re a contender in our league.”
The Polar Bears are currently 1-3 in conference play and have a chance to raise their record at noon tomorrow in a crucial match against Trinity.
Men’s soccer rebounds with first home win
Last Tuesday the men’s soccer team outlasted Bates in a 2-1 double overtime win, marking its first conference victory of the season.
“Three points and a win against Bates is something that’s very nice to bring home,” said Head Coach Scott Wiercinski.
“I think we played particularly well on the offensive end,” Wiercinski added. “To score two goals against an in-league, in-state rival is great.”
Connor Keefe ’16 scored the first goal of the game off a feed from Andrew Jones ’16. Jones laid the ball right in front of the net for Keefe to slide in and knock it past the keeper.
The second goal came late in double overtime with the play starting off a corner kick from Hunter Miller ’16. Miller passed it to Melong ’15 who played a ball into the box that Keefe headed to Ben Citrin ’16. Citrin played it to Eric Goitia ’15 who banged home the winning goal with 2:39 left in the period.
“When you get five guys involved in a goal it’s always a good thing,” Coach Wiercinski said.Earlier in the week the team fell to Amherst at home in a 1-0 defeat.
Although the Polar Bears came away from the game without a point, their play is encouraging moving forward with the rest of the season.
“[Amherst is] a particularly difficult team to play against because they’re so aggressive,” said Wiercinski. “But I thought we defended very well and we just made a few mistakes, which, unfortunately, accounted for the difference in the scoreboard.”
Goitia was also content with the team’s play.
“Overall, we put together a pretty good performance against Amherst except for a couple mistakes that ended up costing us,” said Goitia. “Attacking-wise we had some good chances against both Amherst and Bates.”
Though some players found positives to take from the games this week, they still see areas where the team needs to upgrade its play if it wants to be succesful later in the season.
“Most importantly I think our sense of urgency needs to improve,” said Wiercinski. “There have been too many occasions where the wrong guy in the field is taking a timeout mentally and not fully engaged in whats important, whether defending or attacking, and some of those mistakes have really cost us.”
Based on improvements the team has made thus far, Goitia has high hopes for future games. “I think we have a good team and have a lot more season left to prove it,” Goitia said.
The Polar Bears travel to Middlebury tomorrow to take on the Panthers at noon.
Men’s soccer opens with mixed results
The men’s soccer team opened its season on September 3 with a 2-0 home victory against Endicott College, before falling to Wesleyan 2-1 in its conference opener on Saturday. Despite the loss, Bowdoin showed improvement from the first to the second game.
“I think we’re starting to get into the flow of things,” captain Eric Goitia ’15 said. “From Endicott to Wesleyan there was a big improvement in our play. We’re understanding how to possess the ball better and be a better team both offensively and defensively. We’re learning how to conserve energy better on both ends.”
In its first two games, Bowdoin has shown encouraging signs on the offensive side of the ball.
“We haven’t spent a ton of time working on offense because defense is first, though the three goals we’ve scored have been attractive combinations of play involving lots of different players,” said Head Coach Scott Wiercinski. “I think if we do that more we’re going to be successful.”
Matt Dias Costa ’17 and Ben Citrin ’16 scored Bowdoin’s goals against Endicott.
“Against Endicott we had some good wing play which led to one of our goals, and the other goal came from a great through ball,” captain Thomas Henshall ’15 said. “That victory against Endicott was good because we had a much stronger performance in the second half.”
“In the three goals we’ve scored so far, Andrew Jones [’16] has been involved in each of them, Danny Melong [’15] has been involved in a few of them, and Ben Citrin had two fantastic contributions to both goals in the first game versus Endicott,” said Wiercinski.
“Possession has been mediocre,” he added. “We haven’t passed the ball as well as we’ve liked, but I was happy to see a big improvement at the end of the Endicott game and the Wesleyan game. Maybe confidence was the issue from the start—so if we gain some confidence we’ll continue to grow as a team.”
Bowdoin graduated several key players last spring, particularly at the forward and center back positions, and new players have been given the opportunity to step forward as a result.
“We’ve had Cedric Charlier [’17] and Connor Keefe [’16] step up and do a great job at forward,” said Goitia. “Those are both big, strong guys up top and they bring a lot of energy. Nabil Odulate [’16] has also stepped in well. He’s got a lot of speed so he brings a different dynamic.”
“I think if we go up the ladder and keep on improving every game, we’ll be very good by the end of the season,” Wiercinski said. “Obviously you want to start the season on top, but that’s difficult with a short preseason to get everyone on the same page.”
“Right now we’re focusing on each game’s improvement. So going from Wesleyan to Amherst, our goal is to improve against Amherst,” Goitia said.
The Polar Bears take on the Lord Jeffs at home tomorrow at noon.
Swimming teams top Trinity, Wesleyan in NESCAC battles
Last Saturday the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams traveled to Wesleyan, where they defeated both the Cardinals and the Trinity Bantams. The women beat Trinity 197-96 and Wesleyan 168-129, while the men also routed both squads with final scores of 213-80 and 219.50-67.50, respectively.
On the women’s side, Lela Garner ’16, Sophia Walker ’17 and Christine Anderson ’17 won big. Garner won the 200 freestyle and the 200 individual medley, Walker won the 100 free and 50 free, and Anderson took the one and three-meter dives.
“Lela Garner swam some really great races,” said co-captain Helen Newton ’14. “Not only did she finish first, but also in the last 100 meters she demolished everyone, which was really great to see.”
Women’s track posts 2nd-place finish at home meet
On January 11, the women’s track and field team finished first with 246 points in a meet against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) (163) and Connecticut College (107). In their most recent meet on January 18, the women finished second out of four schools with 152 points, losing only to defending D-III national champions MIT (283.50), while defeating Springfield (81) and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) (55.5).
In the first meet, Bowdoin finished first in several field events. Hayleigh Kein ’15 finished first in the long jump, Erin Silva ’15 finished first in the pole vault, and Katie Krupp ’16 won the triple jump. Addison Carvajal ’16 and Krupp placed first and second respectively in the long jump. Carvajal also won the pentathlon, and Randi London ’15 won the shot put.
Bowdoin also claimed first in numerous track events in the RPI meet. Captain Emily Clark ’15 won the 200-meter dash and the 60-meter hurdles. First year Meghan Bellerose won the 600 meter run, Alana Mendendez ’15 the 800, and Lucy Skinner ’16 claimed the mile. Cleo Daoud ’15 and Liz Znamierowski ’16 placed first and second respectively in the 400, while Bowdoin’s relay team of Znamierowski, Daoud, Clark and Bellerose also took first in the 4x400.
Swimming opens behind MIT, over Babson at home
Last Saturday, the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams opened their seasons at home against MIT and Babson College. MIT swept both the men and women in swimming, defeating the women 194-93 and the men 215-82. Bowdoin, however, bested both the Babson men and women with head-to-head scores of 205-90 and 216-81, respectively.
“MIT has more talent on paper,” said Head Coach Brad Burnham. “They are a top 10 school on the women’s side, and a top-two-or-three school on the men’s side. And they’ve been training longer. We got touched out in a lot of races—points were lopsided in that way.”
One bright spot for the Polar Bears was the performance of first year Tim Long, who finished first in the 1,000 meter free-style with a time of 9:58:36. Long became the second Bowdoin swimmer to finish the event in under ten minutes, and was two seconds away from beating the school record of 9:56:94 set by Conrad Stuntz ’94. Long finished 11 seconds ahead of the second place swimmer.
Women’s basketball starts hot at 3-0
The women’s basketball team opened its season by winning the Salem Tip-Off Tournament at Salem State last weekend, defeating Norwich 66-55 and Salem State 81-49. The Polar Bears carried this momentum to their home opener on Tuesday, beating Endicott 67-56.
Head Coach Adrienne Shibles cited the team’s improved chemistry and fitness as reasons for the early success.
“Our chemistry has always been solid, but this year it’s exceptional,” Shibles said. “They’re all on the same page in terms of where we want to go this season, which makes my job as coach easier.”