SAN ANTONIO – Bowdoin’s bid to advance to the championship game in the NCAA Division III men’s soccer tournament fell short.

Lynchburg scored with 16 seconds remaining in the first overtime for a 2-1 victory over the Polar Bears in the national semifinals Friday at Blossom Soccer Stadium.

Lynchburg (20-4-1) advanced to today’s final and will face two-time defending champion Messiah, a 4-1 semifinal winner over Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Messiah will be trying to win its eighth NCAA championship in 11 years.

“I’m so impressed with our guys,” said Bowdoin Coach Fran O’Leary, whose team finished the season 15-2-3. “It was a disappointment today but the legacy is, we have elevated the program to trying to win the championship.

“We came up against a very resilient team today.”

With the score 1-1, Lynchburg’s Zach Ward threw the ball in from the right sideline to Stephen Brooks, who headed it into the net for the winning goal.

“It was a perfect throw,” Brooks said. “I saw it coming right at me. I hit it, looked back and saw the ball flick the net. I knew it went in.”

The Polar Bears controlled the ball in the first half, outshooting the Hornets 11-3. Bowdoin also registered six corner kicks to one for Lynchburg.

Bowdoin, playing in its first NCAA semifinal, took a 1-0 lead on a goal by freshman Ben Brewster of Cape Elizabeth in the 53rd minute.

Brewster, the rookie of the year in the New England Small College Athletic Conference, put one past goalie Michael Releford, assisted by Michael Gale.

Scott Colman tied the match with an unassisted goal in the 88th minute on a shot that deflected off a defender.

Bowdoin, which allowed just 10 goals before Friday’s game, finished with an 18-14 edge in total shots.

“Both teams were strong defensively,” said Bowdoin goalie Dan Hicks, who made six saves. “You expect that in an NCAA (tournament) game. It was highly defensive and we played with a lot of emotion.”

After finishing runner-up to Middlebury in the NESCAC tournament and getting an at-large bid to the NCAAs with a first-round bye, Bowdoin earned its first NCAA playoff win, beating Eastern Connecticut State 2-1 in a second-round game.

The Polar Bears then eliminated Amherst on penalty kicks and gained revenge against Middlebury with a 2-1 overtime victory in the quarterfinals.