LEWISTON, Maine - Sparked by goals from four different players, the Bowdoin College men's soccer team earned its first conference win of the season Sunday over Bates, 4-1.
With the win, the Polar Bears (3-2-3, 1-2-2 NESCAC) are unbeaten in their past five games (2-0-3). Bates falls to 1-5-2 (0-5-2 NESCAC) on the season and drops to 0-12-3 in its last 15 tries against Bowdoin. The Bobcats have not beaten Bowdoin since 1999. Sunday's game was originally scheduled for September 11 but was postponed due to lightning.
Bowdoin broke the scoreless tie in the 18th minute on its first and best goal of the contest. Thomas Henshall tapped the ball from the right side of the Bates penalty area over to Connor Keefe, who faked one way before tapping over again to Kiefer Solarte, who was able to tee up an open 15-yard shot into the net. Bowdoin made it 2-0 before the end of the half, as Matt Dias Costa set up Cedric Charlier's open shot from the top of the box.
Zach Danssaert kept up the pressure on Bates' goal in the second half, sending one attempt wide, then nearly scoring but for a diving save by Joe Maffly-Kipp in the 66th minute. Maffly-Kipp was unable to control the ball, however, and Austin Downing was there on the rebound for an easy putaway.
After the Polar Bears forced Maffly-Kipp into back-to-back saves and attempted three corner kicks in a row, Bates closed the gap to two on its first and only shot on goal of the game. First-year forward Peabo Knoth patiently lofted a long ball into the face of Bowdoin's goal. Bates senior Tyler Grees leaped for the header but the ball sailed just over his reach and dropped into the left-side netting of the Polar Bear goal, closing the score to 3-1.
Bowdoin added insurance in the 81st minute to make it 4-1. Danssaert again operated from inside the penalty box and left a ball out in the flat for an open shot for Jones, who converted from the left side of the box.
Maffly-Kipp made seven saves for the Bobcats; Bowdoin goalie Noah Safian recorded none. The Polar Bears held a dominating 25-3 advantage in shots and owned a 8-3 edge in corners.
The Polar Bears will return to action with a pair of games during Homecoming Weekend. Bowdoin will host Hamilton on Saturday and Williams on Sunday in a duo of important NESCAC clashes. Both matches start at noon.