Two whistles mark halftime; three mark full time. And, with the sun fully set on the women’s soccer season, I can finally get something off my chest: Bowdoin’s women’s soccer team doesn’t actually play a 4–3–3.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME
The men’s hockey team (4–0–0; 2–0–0 NESCAC) defeated Johnson & Wales University and UMass-Boston last weekend in its first games at Sidney J. Watson Arena. Against Johnson & Wales on Saturday, forward Andy Stoneman ’23 put Bowdoin on the board with fewer than four minutes remaining in the first period.
When I started this column earlier in the season, I told myself that I was going to be as objective as possible. I have focused on tactics, trends and how the roles of certain players have evolved and changed.
In the NESCAC quarterfinal match last Saturday, the third-seeded women’s soccer team (10–4–2; 5–4–1 NESCAC) lost to sixth-seeded Wesleyan University (7–4–5; 4–3–3 NESCAC). After an intense game that remained scoreless after 110 minutes of play, Wesleyan edged out the Polar Bears 5–3 in a penalty kick shootout.
Rooted just ahead of the two central defenders and deep behind the rest of the midfield, the holding midfielder takes on the impossible tasks of both anchoring a compact defensive line and connecting it to a threatening attack.
Any decent coach can pigeon hole players into an already existing system. A good coach can have impressive tactics and stick with them no matter the players on the team or the opponent. But a great coach can build a system designed around their players that not only complements their skill sets but allows each individual to perform at the highest level.
On Wednesday, women’s soccer striker Morgan Smiley ’24 became the first Polar Bear to score a goal in four consecutive games since 2013. Since then, she has scored two more goals, bringing her to a team-high total of six goals this season, and she has served as a vital component of the Polar Bears’ 5–1–0 (1–1-0 NESCAC) start.
The field hockey team (4-1; 1-1 NESCAC) earned a 3-0 victory over Wellesley College (3-4) on Wednesday. The game was the third consecutive win and the second consecutive shutout for the Polar Bears. Bowdoin did not allow Wellesley a single shot on goal and took 16 of their own.
The greatest thing about soccer is that it’s a game best played with joy. At its apex, the sport can resemble an art form painted on the canvas of a pitch—each player doing their part as a bristle of a larger brush, back and forth until they have created something to be proud of.
BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM
Women’s soccer went 3-0 last week against Bates College, the University of Maine-Farmington (UMF) and the University of New England (UNE). The Polar Bears defeated Bates 2-1, the UMF 8-0 and the UNE 1-0.
BRUNSWICK—Women’s soccer opened its season with a 5-0 victory against Saint Joseph’s College (0-3-0) at home on Wednesday. The result was an improvement from last year’s match, which saw the Polar Bears take a 4-2 victory.
For the first time since the NESCAC’s founding in 1971, the conference has given fall sports—such as football, soccer, volleyball and field hockey—the green light to hold team practices over the course of the spring.
“The NESCAC provided flexibility this year in light of schools returning from essentially a year away from traditional athletic activity, and permitting the non-traditional season … was one of the changes identified that could positively impact students returning to competitive athletics,” Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan wrote in an email to the Orient.
WINTER SPORTS FLURRY
The winter athletic season will be in full swing soon. Competitions begin November 13, headlined by the women’s basketball team facing Nazareth College in the University of New England (UNE) Tip-Off Tournament in Biddeford and the men’s basketball team taking on Thomas College at home.
Following a forced 18-month hiatus from competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the women’s soccer team returned to the pitch this semester, much to the thrill of the players, coaches and fans alike.
Members of the team were excited to return to a competitive environment that encourages them to work together.
WOMEN’S TENNIS PREPARES TO CAUSE A RACKET
This weekend, the women’s tennis team will host the Division III New England International Tennis Association (ITA) tournament at the Pickard Tennis Courts. This event marks the first competition of the season for the women’s team and the team’s first time playing in a tournament since the fall of 2019.
ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT PREPARES FOR INDOOR HOME COMPETITION
The College will be hosting its first indoor athletic events of the fall season this weekend as the volleyball team faces Wesleyan College today and Connecticut College tomorrow. The players will be allowed to use their discretion to decide whether they want to wear masks during the game or not, but most of them will likely err on the side of caution and keep the masks on.
The women’s soccer team brought energy and enthusiasm back to Farley Field for their first New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) game in 18 months. Coming off an 11-0 victory over the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF), the Polar Bears came up short against Amherst College, losing 3-0 on Saturday, September 11.
MEN’S SOCCER KICKS OFF SEASON
In their first game of the season and the College’s first fall athletic competition, the men’s soccer team defeated the University of New England (UNE) by a score of 3-0. Drake Byrd ’21 netted two goals, and Minseo Bae ’22 added the third.
On May 3, Eva Dowd ’22 posted a one-question poll to her Instagram story: ‘If you’re a woman, would you be interested in a club soccer team at Bowdoin?’ The response was overwhelming—with over 60 interested students and a host of alumni expressing their support, Dowd felt empowered to try and kickstart a team.
Following an 18-month hiatus from competition, the women’s soccer team hosted Bates on Sunday, May 2 for a scrimmage with no official box score. The 90-minute competition was played over three 30-minute periods as opposed to the typical two 45-minute periods in order to give players more rest and recovery time.
Through budget freezes and cuts, Bowdoin athletics remained a dominant force on campus during the 1990s. However, a social divide still existed on campus.
Bowdoin athletics kicked off the decade with a bang. On September 28, 1990, “Football edges Middlebury” appeared in big bold letters in the Orient after a recent nail-biting win.
Despite an unprecedented fall, the Bowdoin women’s soccer program is striving to stay connected and optimistic. In the face of adversity, this unstoppable program proves to be closer than ever, bonding and training virtually in order to stay competitive with the few NESCAC rivals who have all team members on campus.
Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams were awarded College Team Academic Awards by the United Soccer Coaches Colleges Services Program this past week for their academic achievements during the 2019-2020 academic year. Every rostered member of both teams maintained a GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale for the entirety of the academic year.
The Bowdoin Hall of Honor, founded in 2002, biannually inducts classes of five to six outstanding members of Bowdoin’s athletic community. Candidates are usually nominated by other alumni, and the finalists are chosen by a committee of seven former Bowdoin athletes.
This past weekend, women’s soccer team captains Theresa Huckaby ’22 and Ailish O’Brian ’22, alongside women’s volleyball captains Emily King ’21 and Ashley Williams ’21, raised $2,905 for the nonprofit organization Maine Inside Out (MIO) through a virtual 5k fundraiser.
After an 0-4-1 start to its season, the Bowdoin women’s soccer team has turned a corner, successfully winning six out of their last eight games. With a 2-0 victory over Bates (2-10-1, 0-8-0 NESCAC) on Sunday, the team has improved to 6-6-1 overall (2-5-1 in NESCAC) and put itself in a position to make a run for the conference playoffs.
After losing three conference games, the Bowdoin women’s soccer team (2-4-1, NESCAC 0-3-1) has had an underwhelming start to its season. Though the team lost only two seniors last spring, preseason expectations were high for the core of returning starters.
Last Saturday morning, the members of the Bowdoin men’s (9-5-2, 5-3-2 NESCAC) and women’s (7-7-2, 3-6-1 NESCAC) soccer teams donned their jerseys and laced up their cleats for what was likely both teams’ final game of the season.
For the women’s soccer team, the 2018 season has begun with intense training, learning and excitement for the future.
After five games, the team stands at 2-2-1 (1-2-0 NESCAC). It started the season off with a draw against Babson College (3-3-1), followed by a 1-0 loss to Amherst (4-1-0), a 4-0 win against Bates (2-3-0), a 2-0 loss against Wesleyan (4-2-0) and a 7-0 win against the University of Maine Farmington (0-7-0).
This past weekend, the Bowdoin women’s soccer team (4-2-1, NESCAC 1-2-1) had a big win against Middlebury (4-2-1, NESCAC 1-2-1) who knocked Bowdoin out of the NESCAC Championship last year. Despite several challenges, the Polar Bears’ hard work and dedication led them to victory on Saturday.
Going for Gold. Over the summer, Bowdoin women’s basketball player Ally Silfen ’17 and field hockey player Sarah Jane Weill ’18 traveled to Jerusalem for the 20th Maccabiah Games—an international Jewish and Israeli multi-sport event held in Israel every four years.