Date Posted:10/29/2002,  8:00AM

Polar Bears Prep For Playoffs

BRUNSWICK, Maine - For Bowdoin College athletic squads, when it rains, it pours.

Following a winter that saw three teams competing in NCAA Tournaments, Bowdoin College is poised to duplicate that success this autumn, as three teams stand in first place in the NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference) standings. The Bowdoin men's soccer (10-2-1), women's soccer (10-2-1) and field hockey (10-3) teams all stand in first place in their respective sports and could all potentially host NESCAC Championships on November 9-10.

Behind a seemingly unstoppable offense, the Bowdoin College men's soccer team has ambushed opponents to a tune of 38-17 this season in 13 games this season. After defeating perennial power Williams in Williamstown earlier in the season and cruising to a 10-2-1 mark, the Polar Bears currently stand at number seven in the nation. This past weekend, with a 4-0 blanking of arch-rival Colby, Bowdoin clinched the regular season title and the top seed in the upcoming NESCAC Tournament. The Polar Bears will receive a first-round bye and host the semifinals and championship on November 9-10.

Through the years, the Bowdoin field hockey team has been as consistent as the changing foliage of Maine. For the 11th straight season, the Polar Bears have reached double digits in the win column and control their own destiny for the upcoming NESCAC Tournament. With a 6-2 record in conference play, Bowdoin can clinch the top seed for the tournament with a win over in-state rival Bates in Brunswick on Saturday. Currently, a three-way tie exists at the top of the standings, but the Polar Bears (thanks to victories over co-leaders Middlebury and Williams) hold the tiebreaker. Bowdoin is ranked 16th in the latest national poll.

The Bowdoin women's soccer team has also proved to be a perennial power, having averaged 11 wins since 1980. This season is no different as the Polar Bears stand in a four-way deadlock atop the NESCAC standings at 5-2-1. The highest ranked NESCAC team at 11th in the nation, Bowdoin could host the NESCAC Semifinals and Championship using a number of different scenarios, with their best chance likely coming from a three-way tie for first between themselves, Williams and Tufts. Either way, the Polar Bears need to defeat Bates at home this weekend in order to ensure at least a first-round home game that would take place on Sunday afternoon.

All three squads will close out their regular season on Saturday in Brunswick versus Bates with all three gametimes set for 11:00 a.m. Pairings for all NESCAC Tournaments will be announced on Saturday evening.