October 30, 2013

Small College Notebook: For Bowdoin athletics, fall has been a winning season

One of the most successful teams is the field hockey team, riding a 40-game home winning streak.

By Steve Solloway ssolloway@pressherald.com
Columnist

If they thought about it, Molly Paduda and her three senior teammates could remember the sting of losing a field hockey game on their home field. But that loss was back in the fall of 2010 – Paduda was a freshman.

The Bowdoin College women (12-1, 8-1) have since won 40 straight games on their home field, the longest active streak in NCAA Division III field hockey.

Bowdoin’s volleyball team (20-5, 7-1) won this weekend and has three consecutive 20-win seasons. The seniors have won 93 games.

The women’s rugby team plays for its second straight New England Small College Rugby Conference championship Saturday. The women’s soccer team is 10-2-1 overall. The men are 8-2-3.

The Bowdoin men’s cross country team won the State of Maine meet last weekend. Senior Coby Horowitz (Stow, Mass.) won the race and is one of the top college runners in New England. The women finished third.

Bowdoin teams in head-to-head competition are 52-14-5 for a .767 winning percentage this fall. That’s prior to any competition played Tuesday. With several days left in October, the record for the month is 29-4-1 for an .852 percentage.

“Success breeds success breeds more success,” said Karen Corey, the volleyball coach. Her answer wasn’t as simplistic as it first sounded.

“I came here eight years ago and have seen the field hockey team win three national championships and thought, why can’t my volleyball team win a conference championship? It starts there.”

Each fall, athletes gather for a convocation. Paduda remembers what was said. “Nothing we will ever do will be as simple as this,” said Paduda. “If you put the work in, keep your focus, you’re going to get results.

Bowdoin has an enrollment of 1,791 students this fall. The campus isn’t big enough and doesn’t have the culture for players to disappear with teammates.

“My roommates play lacrosse, soccer and field hockey,” said Paduda. “We’re next to a house with a lot of hockey players. There’s always team interactions.”

Paduda knows players on Bowdoin’s 2-4 football team. “They internalize a lot. They’re disappointed but they’re committed to what they’re doing.”

Corey found herself talking with Scott Wiercinski, the new men’s soccer coach. They talked about the upcoming New England Small College Athletic Conference playoffs. They talked about success and goals.

At Bowdoin, the success doesn’t end with the fall season. The men’s and women’s hockey teams won NESCAC championships within minutes of each other last winter. The women are ranked seventh in the U.S. College Hockey Online preseason national poll for Division III teams; the men are eighth.

ST. JOSEPH’S

The field hockey team (7-2) is seeded second in the North Atlantic Conference tournament that begins Saturday at home against No. 7 Lasell (4-5). Castleton State took the top seed with a 9-0 record.

The men’s soccer team was shut out in its last three games and finished with a 6-3 record in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference to earn the second seed and a quarterfinals date with Albertus Magnus on Sunday. The women’s team won five of its last six games prior to Wednesday’s nonconference game with the University of Southern Maine and earned the third seed in the quarterfinals. The Monks play at home against Suffolk on Saturday.

UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND

The Nor’easters’ field hockey team is unbeaten in the Commonwealth Coast Conference prior to Wednesday’s game with Endicott and has clinched the first seed in the league tournament. UNE will host a semifinal game Nov. 6.

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MAINE

The women’s volleyball team is 21-8, reaching 20 wins for the first time since 1986. The school record for wins is 22, set in 1976. The Huskies can break the record with upcoming games against UMass-Dartmouth and Rivier.

Steve Solloway can be contacted at 791-6412 or at:

ssolloway@pressherald.com

witter: SteveSolloway

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