BRUNSWICK — The end of the season slate for the Bowdoin College men’s soccer team is stacked, with undefeated Connecticut College and Tufts scheduled to visit the Polar Bears to close out the regular NESCAC season.

On Wednesday, the Polar Bears hosted NESCAC rival Bates College on Pickard Field, knowing they were not going to be able to overlook the much-improved Bobcats.

Trailing 1-0 at the half, Bowdoin found its game, reeling off three goals over an 11-minute stretch of the second frame for a big 3-1 victory, giving the Polar Bears a league mark of 4-2-2, currently good for third place.

“The guys relaxed a little bit, and halftime allowed us to take a pause and take the emotion out of it,” said Bowdoin coach Scott Wiercinski. “The guys had a better recognition of what the task really was.”

Bates took advantage of a Bowdoin defensive miscue in the opening frame. Ciaran Bardong gained control of the ball, froze Polar Bear netminder Chris Kingston (two saves) and sent a pass across the crease to Frederick Hohmann for a 1-0 Bobcat lead.

Just over a minute later, Bates midfielder Morgan Dwedney fired a rising shot off the crossbar, keeping the Polar Bears just one goal behind.


“We score, then hit the crossbar a minute-and-a-half after, and that is the difference in college soccer sometimes,” said Bates (8-5, 3-5 NESCAC) assistant coach Matt Williams.

Bowdoin had its chances to knot the game prior to intermission. Jack Shultz sent a rising shot above the crossbar, and a header by Liam Houlgate off a corner kick was stopped by Bates goaltender Robbie Montanaro.

Bates pressed for an insurance goal in the early stages of the second half, but it was Bowdoin that found the tying goal instead. Freshman Brian Bae made a move to get past Montanaro, and bounced a shot between three Bobcat defenders in the 54th minute.

Unlike Bates, Bowdoin found its second goal a minute-and-a-half later, when Drake Byrd set up Matt Uek for a one-timer and a 2-1 Polar Bear lead.

“We played pretty well in the first half, we just had one unfortunate defensive lapse,” said Uek. “We moved the ball well in the second half, knowing that we had to keep doing the same things. The difference was the ball went into the net.”

Bowdoin kept coming, with Byrd again setting up a goal, this one by Ryan Houseman at 65:42 for a two-goal advantage.


“That is a very good Bowdoin team, and we expected them to be very good on the wings and they were,” Williams said. “Credit to Bowdoin. They took advantage of things and we didn’t. The loss is about them coming at us really hard.”

“Momentum kept building and building for us,” Uek said. “This is a big win. It was an important game for us to move up in the NESCAC standings.”

“Points in our conference are points, and you need to get them when you can,” Wiercinski said. “Bates is having an outstanding season, so points today allows the guys to take a breath.

“It is so hard to separate yourself. You can be 20 percent better in a lot of ways and it doesn’t show up on the scoreboard. All of our NESCAC teams are similar in so many ways. It takes a team to manufacture those wins.”

Bowdoin improved to 8-3-2 overall, and its unbeaten streak is now up to eight games (6-0-2). The Polar Bears are 15-0-5 against the Bobcats in their last 20 meetings dating back to 1999.

Montanaro finished with four saves in the Bates cage, with Bowdoin holding an 11-5 shot advantage. Both teams attempted six corner kicks.

Bowdoin hosts Connecticut College for its Senior Day on Saturday at noon, while Bates visits Middlebury, also on Saturday at noon.

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