Players scramble in front of the net as a cross comes in during a women’s soccer match on Wednesday between Bowdoin and UMaine-Farmington at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

BRUNSWICK — It was a day that the Bowdoin women’s soccer program had been waiting on for a long time.

After the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) canceled all sports during the 2020-21 academic year, the Polar Bears returned to the field on Wednesday for the first time in over 22 months.

The Polar Bears returned to action on Wednesday in style, storming past the University of Maine at Farmington 11-0.

“We had been counting down the days for over a year, I think it was just over 400 days since we began counting,” said senior Lynn Farquhar, who scored a goal and dished out an assist in Wednesday’s victory. “We were really excited, it had been a long time coming.”

To be exact, it had been 676 days since the Polar Bears last took to the field.

“We really wanted to share this moment with each other and play a solid team game, get everyone involved,” said senior midfielder Jamie Lau, who also had a goal and an assist. “Everyone put in a ton of work during the time off through COVID, and it showed today.”

The chemistry on the field was undeniable, too.

Julia Adelmann of Bowdoin (25) looks to dribble around Riley Forrest of UMaine-Farmington during a women’s soccer match on Wednesday between Bowdoin and UMaine-Farmington at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

Behind a potent offensive attack and a defense that didn’t let the ball into its own third of the field, the Polar Bears scored three goals in the first 10 minutes and didn’t look back.

“We all love playing with each other, it’s a reason we work so well with each other even though it has been so long,” Farquhar said. “I can’t think of a better way to return to game action and start our season off, a win always feels good.”

The Polar Bears got two goals from Becca Meyers, and a goal apiece from Rachael Peacock, Farquhar, Samaya Bernardo, Annie Pyne, Lau, Julia Adelmann, Isa Quintana, Megan Lymburner and Ella Olcese in the win.

The Beavers knew that they had a tall task in front of them heading into Wednesday’s matchup. Despite the loss, UMF senior captain McKenna Brodeur said the team played its best game of the season thus far. Wednesday was the third game of the year for Farmington.

“Anytime you face Bowdoin you know it’s going to be tough,” said Brodeur, a former standout at Messalonskee. “I thought today was good, we have a lot that we can take away from today and improve upon.”

Jess Klein of Bowdoin (15) and Kiley Merritt of Umaine-Farmington (9) battle for possession during a women’s soccer match on Wednesday between Bowdoin and UMaine-Farmington at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

With its first conference game scheduled for Saturday at home against rival Amherst, Bowdoin used Wednesday as a game to develop chemistry, fine-tune their skills, and prepare for Saturday’s showdown.

“We’re really excited for that, hopefully we can keep this momentum going into Saturday,” Lau said. “We know it should be a competitive season in the conference.”

The Beavers could not muster a shot on goal despite a handful of opportunities. Beavers goalie Callie Hammer made 21 saves.

“We can only go up from here, everyone on the team knows that,” added Brodeur. “We improved a lot today but still know we have a long way to go.”


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