Men’s soccer bows out of NESCAC tournament on penalty kicks

AMHERST, Mass. — No. 6 Bowdoin eliminated the No. 4 Middlebury College men’s soccer team on penalty kicks in a NESCAC semifinal at Amherst College this past Saturday. The 9-6-2 Polar Bears edged the Panthers (9-3-5) by a 3-2 count in penalty kicks to advance to Sunday’s final. Bowdoin also defeated top-seeded Amherst via PKs in that game.
In the first round of PKs on Saturday, Polar Bears goalie Stevie Van Siclen made a terrific diving stop to his right to get the shootout started, and Bowdoin’s Kiefer Solarte scored on his attempt to give the Polar Bears a 1-0 edge. After a miss from both sides, Middlebury’s Noah Goss-Woliner leveled the kicks at 1-1 before Eric Goitia buried his try to give Bowdoin a 2-1 lead.
A save each from Van Siclen and Middlebury goalkeeper Greg Sydor set the stage for the Panthers’ Deklan Robinson, who converted his shot to even the shootout at 2-2. Connor Keefe then narrowly beat Sydor, who dove to his right and had the ball tick off his hands, to give the Polar Bears a hard-fought victory.
The game was tied, 0-0, at the end of regulation, and both teams failed to score in overtime. The Panthers nearly won in the second overtime on a shot by Greg Conrad and a header by Tom Dils. Van Siclen was there with a pair of crucial saves on each shot, the second of which was a diving stop on the goal line.
Bowdoin’s biggest threat came in the 96th minute, when Thomas Henshall hit the crossbar.
Middlebury edged Bowdoin in shots, 13-10, while the Polar Bears held a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks. Both Sydor and Van Siclen made a pair of stops during regulation, while Van Siclen added the two saves in the second overtime.

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