BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Bowdoin College men's soccer team made program history with their first-ever NCAA Tournament victory, 2-1, over Eastern Connecticut in an Second Round contest at Pickard Field on Sunday. The Polar Bears (14-1-3), who also tied a school record with their 14th win this season, advance to the third round of the tournament, where they will face NESCAC rival Amherst on Saturday, November 20. The other third round contest at the regional will feature Middlebury and Babson. Sites for regionals will be announced on Monday.
Eastern Connecticut State finishes their season with a record of 14-4-3.
Bowdoin controlled the early pace of play and, after sustained pressure throughout most of the period, found the back of the net in the 36th minute. Ben Denton-Schneider controlled the ball in the left corner and centered a pass to Michael Gale at the top of the box. Gale fired a blast to the lower-right corner that tucked inside the post, beyond the outstretched arms of Warrior netminder Carl Appel to give the hosts a 1-0 advantage.
The Polar Bears doubled their lead in the 51st minute when Eddie Jones played a brilliant cross into the box that Denton-Schneider headed home for a 2-0 Bowdoin advantage. Eastern Connecticut battled back, and found a goal in the 81st minute when Zach Kice beat Bowdoin goaltender Dan Hicks in a race to the ball and deposited his first goal of the season with just 9:20 remaining. But the Warriors could not find the game-tying tally in the closing moments as the Polar Bears remained unbeaten in their last 14 outings (13-0-1). Bowdoin also improved to 8-0-2 at Pickard Field this fall.
Appel stopped five shots in the loss for Eastern Connecticut while Hicks was credited with a pair of saves for Bowdoin. The Polar Bears held a 17-8 advantage in shots and 5-1 edge in corner kicks in the win. Prior to Sunday's game, Bowdoin had been 0-2-2 all-time in NCAA Tournament play, including a pair of penalty kick losses.
Photos courtesy of Brian Wedge Photography.