Last weekend was a very good one for the Bowdoin athletic program.
The Polar Bears field hockey team, which has been as impressive as any in the country in recent years, advanced to the NCAA Division III semifinals Sunday behind senior co-captain Ingrid Oelschlager’s game-winning goal with 3:21 remaining in the first overtime to beat Lebanon Valley, 4-3, in the regional final. The Polar Bears improved to 18-1 and next face Skidmore College Saturday at Christopher Newport University. Oelschlager also scored earlier in the game, as did Kassey Matoin and Emily French.
The victory is the 11th straight in NCAA Tournament play for Bowdoin, who won the NCAA Division III title in both 2007 and 2008. The Polar Bears also improve to 11-0 all-time in NCAA play at Ryan Field.
Bowdoin (the 2007 and 2008 national champion, now riding an 11-game tournament win streak), will face Skidmore for the first time since 2007 (a second round win for the Polar Bears). Ursinus and Messiah will play in the other semifinal. The winners meet in the national championship game Sunday.
Men’s soccer won its first tournament game Sunday, 2-1, over visiting Eastern Connecticut in a second round showdown. Bowdoin set a new program record with its 14th victory (against one loss and three ties) Michael Gale and Ben Denton-Schneider scored.
The Polar Bears will host a sectional this weekend. They’ll face Amherst Saturday at 1 p.m. (the teams tied, 0-0, earlier in the year). Middlebury and Babson do battle in the other contest. The winners meet Sunday for a trip to the Division III Final Four in San Antonio, Texas.
On the gridiron, Bowdoin ended its season in style with a 26-21 win at Colby. The Polar Bears locked up their 19th C-B-B championship and ended the year 3-5. An 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Pat Noone got the party started. Noone gave the Polar Bears a 14-0 lead after a 22-yard TD pass from Grant White. After Colby rallied to tie, Sean O’Malley scored on a blocked punt to put Bowdoin ahead to stay. Ian Vieira later returned an interception 17-yards to make it 26-14 and the Polar Bears held on for the win.