BRUNSWICK, Maine - Jamie Hofstetter scored three goals to lead the Bowdoin College women's soccer team to its first NESCAC playoff win since 2007, 3-2 over Hamilton on Saturday at Pickard Field.
The teams combined for five goals in a furious second half, including three in a span of four minutes early in the second frame. The Polar Bears (11-3-1) advance to the NESCAC Semifinals for the first time since 2008. The Continentals end their year with a mark of 9-5-1.
After a scoreless first half, Hofstetter got Bowdoin on the board less than four minutes into the second period. Molly Popolizio fed Hofstetter ahead on a breakway, which the first-year deposited into the net at 48:58. She doubled Bowdoin's lead 2:08 later, as she redirected a strike from Kathleen Smith into the net for a 2-0 Polar Bear advantage at 51:06. Hamilton answered 1:52 later as Victoria Freeman finished off a scramble in front with a tap-in at 52:58, trimming the Polar Bear advantage to a single goal, 2-1.
Hofstetter provided some much-needed insurance in the 66th minute, finishing off the hat trick with 24:38 remaining in regulation to give the hosts a 3-1 edge. The Continentals pushed upfield and got one back, as Hannah Withiam headed home a corner kick with 3:11 remaining. But the Continentals did not register a shot on goal after that as Bowdoin held on to win.
Bridget McCarthy made five saves in goal for Bowdoin, who held an 11-8 edge in shots. Liza Gergenti made four saves for Hamilton.
Hofstetter's three goals more than double her season output as she registered two goals in the regular season. She ties the NESCAC Tournament record for goals in a game, held by three other players. The victory is Bowdoin's second over Hamilton in 14 days. The Polar Bears earned a 1-0 decision in Clinton, N.Y. on October 13.
Bowdoin advances to play Amherst in the NESCAC Semifinals next weekend in Williamstown, Mass. The second-seeded Ephs will host eighth-seeded Wesleyan, who knocked off top-seeded Middlebury on Saturday. The Polar Bears will face the Jeffs at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 3. The winner will play for the NESCAC Championship on Sunday, November 4 at noon.