BRUNSWICK, Maine – Bowdoin scored a second-half goal off a corner kick and held off a relentless Camel attack in the waning minutes to earn a 1-0 victory over the No. 5 Connecticut College men's soccer team at Pickard Field on Saturday afternoon.
The Polar Bears extended their impressive unbeaten streak to nine straight matches, while the Camels were dealt just their first loss of the season. With the setback, Connecticut College dropped to second place in the NESCAC standings and one spot behind a nationally-ranked Tufts squad which is hosting Williams later this afternoon.
Connecticut College earned two corner kicks and pummeled three quick shots towards goalkeeper Chris Kingston in the early stages of the match. Sophomore Liam Noonan (Calabasas, Calif.) rifled a shot from outside the box that was turned away by Kingston, and a header by senior captain Ben Manoogian (Peabody, Mass.) sailed just wide left of the intended target.
The Polar Bears had their chances to punch the ball in by most notably earning two corner kicks, but both chances were unsuccessful and cleared away by the Camel defense. Freshman Steve Yeonas (McLean, Va.) volleyed a putback attempt wide in the final minute of the half shortly after a free kick was taken, and the teams headed to recess in a scoreless deadlock.
Both teams increased their attack in the second half and each earned a golden opportunity to pot the first goal heading into the middle stages. Camel senior Uzii Dieng (Brooklyn, N.Y.) one-touched a short pass from junior Matt Butera (Westfield, Mass.) that sailed just a few feet high over the crossbar in the 63rd minute, and Matt Uek just missed the back of the net on an attempt towards the far post that that barely went wide on the counter attack moments later.
Bowdoin (9-3-2, NESCAC 5-2-2), however, was able to break through in the 68th minute when it earned a corner kick after failing to capitalize on a free one from about 35 yards away. The cross from the right side by Matty McColl was dangerously lined inside the 6-yard box, found the head of Levi Morant, and then headed into the net on the far left post by Moctar Niang. McColl and Morant were both credited with assists on the tic-tac-toe play.
Trailing for the first time all season, Connecticut College tried to net the equalizer over the final 20 minutes of play in regulation. Noonan put the ball on net, but Kingston was there to make the save. A corner kick opportunity in the final minutes was also unsuccessful.
The Camels had one last chance to even the score in the final minute when they were awarded an indirect kick from just outside the 18-yard box as the result of a dangerous play. Manoogian's rocket, however, was blocked by the wall, and Butera's ensuing shot was turned away by the Polar Bears as well. A last desperation attempt by the Camels landed on top of the net, and the hosts hung on while also dealing the Camels just their first loss of the season.
Kingston earned the shutout win by making four saves for Bowdoin in the evenly played match. The Camels edged the Polar Bears in total shots, 11-10, and corner kicks were even at three apiece. Marcucci was charged with the setback after redirecting four shots as well.
Connecticut College (11-1-2, NESCAC 6-1-2) will conclude its regular season when it travels to Wesleyan for a 4 p.m. matinee on Tuesday afternoon.