Late Score Lifts Tufts Over Bowdoin in NESCAC Women's Soccer Quarterfinal

Becky Stoneman got credit for Bowdoin's lone goal of the game on Saturday
Becky Stoneman got credit for Bowdoin's lone goal of the game on Saturday

BRUNSWICK, Maine - Caitlin Brandman scored the game-winning goal with 21:14 to play in the second half as the Tufts women's soccer team upset Bowdoin in the quarterfinals of the NESCAC Tournament Saturday at Pickard Field.

The sixth-seeded Jumbos (9-6-0) advance to the conference semifinals next weekend in Vermont, where they will battle top-seeded Middlebury. The third-seeded Polar Bears (11-3-1) will hold out hope for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament when selections are announced on November 11.

After a midfield-dominated opening half that saw the teams take five shots apiece, the action picked up considerably in the second half. The Jumbos got on the board first in the 61st minute when Robin Estus played a through-ball to Allie Weiller, who tucked the diagonal pass into the corner of the net, past diving Bowdoin goaltender Bridget McCarthy.

Bowdoin replied minutes later, receiving a serendipitous bounce to even the score in the 67th minute. Finishing up a strong five-minute push in the Tufts defensive zone, Becky Stoneman played a lofted crossing ball into the box, where a Jumbo defender attempted to intercept it. But the ball ricocheted off her foot into the net, making it a 1-1 contest.

The Jumbos rallied, however, and took the lead for good just over three minutes later. Katie Coyle slipped a low pass into the Bowdoin box from the left side, right in-between McCarthy and her Polar Bear defenders. Brandman finished it off inside the right post at 69:46 to regain the lead for Tufts.

Bowdoin made a late push, but could not find the equalizer as the Jumbos avenged a 3-2 loss to the Polar Bears in their regular season finale just four days ago.

McCarthy made seven saves, including several diving stops, in goal for Bowdoin. Kristin Wright stopped four shots for the Jumbos, who will look to become just the second #6 seed to advance to the NESCAC Finals (Williams in 2004). The Jumbos will be making their first semifinal appearance since 2009.