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Wesleyan Falls To Bowdoin in NESCAC Finals

Photo by Peter Stein '84
Photo by Peter Stein '84

MIDDLEBURY, Vermont – Bowdoin's Andrew Jones scored with 2:36 elapsed in overtime to lift Bowdoin to its second-straight NESCAC Men's Soccer Championship with a 1-0 victory over Wesleyan on Sunday at Middlebury. The sixth-seeded Polar Bears (10-3-4) earn their second overall title and claim the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Tournament, while the eighth-seeded Cardinals, the first eight seed to play in the league's championship, finish their season at 8-8-2.

The first half saw few scoring opportunities with much of the play happening in the midfield. Wesleyan looked to get on the scoreboard in the 26th minute when Brandon Sousa dribbled from right to left, lacing a shot from 18 yards out that was caught in his chest by Bowdoin goalkeeper Stevie Van Siclen.

A little less than two minutes later, Jones worked his way onto the right side for the Polar Bears, chipping a shot from nine yards out that Wesleyan keeper Jack Katkavich dove to his left and smothered. The match went into halftime scoreless with just nine combined shots between the teams and four on goal. 

Out of the break, both teams played conservatively. The Polar Bears tallied all six shots in the second half, but none of them were on net. Bowdoin's best opportunity happened in the 85th minute when Moctar Niang found a soft spot in the Cardinal defense, but his shot from 22 yards out sailed well high of the goal.

In the overtime period, both teams played the possession game during the opening minutes. Following a Wesleyan foul, Van Siclen took the ensuing free kick from 75 yards away, blasting the ball toward the Cardinal goal. The ball took one skidding bounce before Jones gathered it with his feet and tapped in on the far post for the game-winning tally at 92:36.

Bowdoin finished with a 12-4 advantage in shots, while Wesleyan possessed a narrow 2-1 edge in corner kicks. Van Siclen was credited with a save for the Polar Bears, while Katkavich turned away three attempts.