ITHACA, N.Y. - The Bowdoin College women's soccer team's magical season came to an end Sunday in a 2-1 loss to Ithaca in the Second Round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Under first-year head coach Brianne Weaver, the 24th-ranked Polar Bears finish one of the finest seasons in school history with a record of 11-4-4. Sixth-ranked Ithaca wins its program-record 19th game and advances to the Round of 16 with a 19-1-2 record.
The Polar Bears netted the game's first goal in the 27th minute of action to lead 1-0 at intermission. Ithaca twice answered in the second half to earn a spot in the Sweet Sixteen and improve to 11-0-1 on its home turf this season.
Ithaca outshot Bowdoin, 14-8, and held a 9-2 gap in corner kicks.
The game opened in back-and-forth fashion before Ithaca rattled off four consecutive shots. Bowdoin goalkeeper Bridget McCarthy made two of her seven saves on the day to maintain a scoreless deadlock through 20 minutes of play.
Polar Bear sophomore Abby Einwag came off the bench to tally the game's first goal in the 25th minute. Following a Bowdoin throw in along the right sideline, freshman Jamie Hofstetter found Einwag camped out on the left post. Einwag headed in a low ball for the 1-0 advantage.
With five minutes lingering in the first frame, Ithaca senior Rachael Palladino looked to even action on a Julie Winn corner-kick feed. Palladino's header soared high as the Polar Bears maintained their 1-0 gap into the half.
Fifteen scoreless minutes opened the second stint. The Bombers earned a trio of corner kicks before a free kick led to the game-tying goal. Junior Anna Gray sent a free kick into the box that got batted out by the Bowdoin defense. Bomber junior Alex Liese collected the loose ball and served it into the right side of the box where classmate Ellyn Grant-Keane headed it in for a 1-1 tie.
Bowdoin surged to take a flurry of shots, but it was an Ithaca shot that followed to seal the victory for the Bombers. Grant-Keane beat a defender along the right end line before finding the feet of junior Amanda Callanan at the top of the box. Callanan dribbled in and laced a shot at McCarthy causing her to fumble the ball. It fell between her legs and crossed the plane for the score.
The Polar Bears recorded the final two shots of the game, but could not convert. Junior Molly Popolizio fired a shot from 25 yards out to the right side of goal at 86:48, but Ithaca goalkeeper Becca Salant made the save to preserve the Bomber victory. Salant finished the game with three saves.