Jennifer Russell Mahoney '89 and Sarah H. Russell

Jennifer Russell Mahoney '89 and Sarah H. Russell

Two of the greatest athletes to grace the Pickard fields, sisters Jennifer and Sarah Russell were central figures in the establishment of the College as one of the premier destinations for female student-athletes. Singularly excellent and outstanding as a duo, the pair left a lasting impression that still resonates in some of Bowdoin’s most successful sports programs.

The pair were never better than in the fall of 1987, as Jennifer, a junior, and Sarah, a first-year, led the Bowdoin women’s soccer program to a Northeast Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship. The team won 4-0 over Amherst in the semifinals and 4-1 over Williams in the title game, giving head coach John Cullen his first NIAC crown. In the two games, Jennifer had five assists and Sarah scored two goals to lift the Polar Bears to their fifth NIAC Championship in a seven-year stretch.

Following the completion of their senior seasons, Jennifer and Sarah were both awarded the school’s top honor for a female athletes when they were named the Lucy L. Shulman award winners in 1989 and 1991, respectively.

Jennifer Russell Mahoney

Jennifer came to Bowdoin in the fall of 1985, fresh off an outstanding two-sport career at Concord Academy. She scored a goal and added five assists as a first-year for John Cullen’s first women’s soccer team, as the squad posted a 11-3-1 mark. As a sophomore in 1986, Jennifer flourished with seven goals and four assists, but the squad fell in the Northeast Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NIAC) finals for the second-straight season.

In 1987, the Polar Bears took the final step to the crown, thanks to a new single-season assist mark from Jennifer, who tallied 11 helpers on the campaign. As a co-captain of the ’88 squad, she led Bowdoin to their first-ever ECAC Tournament appearance with a four-goal season, giving her 59 career points to stand fifth all-time in school history and twice earning All-Maine recognition.

Jennifer also made an immediate impact in lacrosse, as she saw significant time as a firstyear on Sally LaPointe’s 1986 NIAC Championship squad that finished 15-0 and ended the season ranked second nationally. As a sophomore, she earned First-Team Regional All-American honors with a 47-goal campaign.

After missing the 1988 season studying abroad in Florence, Italy, Jennifer returned to score 49 goals as a senior and net First-Team Regional All-American honors. At the time of her graduation, she was just the third Bowdoin player to score more than 100 career goals (101) and ranked third all-time with 137 career points.

Jennifer was born in Boston, graduated from Concord Academy, and was a history major at Bowdoin. She currently lives in Falmouth, Maine, with her husband, Sean Mahoney ’86, and their three children.

Sarah H. Russell
Sarah Russell played an unforgiving position in a low-scoring sport, and as a result her soccer career did not include the statistical impact of her sister’s. But her prowess at midfield under John Cullen did not go unappreciated, as she collected numerous honors on a regional and national level.

A stalwart for four seasons, Sarah gained recognition as a junior, earning First-Team All-New England and Second-Team Regional All-American for the Polar Bears, who went 10-5-1 and reached the ECAC Championship game. As a senior, she co-captained a 10-6-1 team that again reached the ECAC Title game. Sarah single-handedly put the Polar Bears in contention with a stellar semifinal game against Brandeis. She tied the game on a goal with just 16 minutes remaining and scored the go-ahead tally just moments later to lead Bowdoin to victory. Her outstanding play on both ends of the field earned her the highest of honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. She finished her career with 14 goals and seven assists and is one of just three women’s soccer players in school history to collect First-Team All-American recognition.

Sarah saw action in three years on the women’s ice hockey team and also played a year of lacrosse at Bowdoin.

Before coming to Bowdoin Sarah graduated from Concord Academy, where she was a captain of both the soccer and hockey teams. She was born in Boston, graduated from Bowdoin as a Spanish and history major, and now lives in Cumberland, Maine, with her husband, Joe Reynolds, and their three children.