Date Posted:09/05/2006,  4:30PM

2006 Men's Soccer Preview

HEAD COACH: Fran O'Leary (2nd season, 11-3-1)

LEADING RETURNERS: Simon Parsons (nine goals, five assists), Nick Figueiredo (eight goals, six assists), Wolf Grueber (eight goals), Nathan Lovitz (63 saves, 1.05 GAA), John Hollis (three goals, two assists), Anthony Regis, Dom Fitzpatrick, Brendan Egan

NEWCOMERS: Garrick Sheldon, Will Grunewald, Alex Hirshberg, Tom Wakefield, Matt Ostrup, Hugh Fleming, Colin Hay, Carl Woock

2005 RECAP (11-3-1):The Polar Bears posted another strong season in 2005, earning an 11-3-1 record and placing second in the NESCAC regular season standings. Despite being upset in the first-round of the NESCAC Tournament, Bowdoin extended their run of double-digit win seasons to six straight years; one of the best streaks in New England soccer. The Polar Bears were ranked in the Top-25 late in the season and defender Mike Crowley '06 was named a Third-Team All-American. Crowley and forward Nick Figuereido '08 were both recognized with First-Team All-NESCAC and All-New England honors.

2006 PREVIEW: Bowdoin returns an extremely strong core group, giving the team hopes for another double-digit-win campaign. The NESCAC, as always, will present an extremely tough challenge, and the Polar Bears will supplement that tall order with non-conference games against several of New England's top squads including Wheaton, Babson and Gordon. The Polar Bears return netminder Nathan Lovitz, and despite the graduation of All-American Michael Crowley, the defensive corps should be the strength of the team with the return of Brendan Egan and Dom Fitzpatrick along with midfielders Anthony Regis and John Hollis. The squad also returns its top three scorers in Simon Parsons, Figueiredo and Wolf Grueber.

DID YOU KNOW?: Bowdoin is ranked 17th in the preseason poll. The only NESCAC team ranked higher is Williams (fifth), while Wesleyan, Middlebury and Amherst also received votes in the Top-25 poll.

COACH O'LEARY SAYS: "We graduated a talented group of players. However, I am confident that this year's squad will once again prove to be competitive in the NESCAC. We narrowly missed a bid last season to the NCAA tournament and hope to push on this year into post season play."