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Contact: William Sodoma
Date: October 7, 2009
BRUNSWICK, Maine --- The Colby College women's soccer team has been to the NCAA Division III Tournament and has made the New England Small College Athletic Conference Final Four, but the Mules had never beaten Bowdoin College in the history of its proud program.
All that changed on Wednesday when the Mules scored 11:14 into the game, survived a lightning delay, and held off the Polar Bears for a 1-0 victory in NESCAC play.
Bowdoin had gone 38 games without losing to the Mules, a record of 35-0-3 dating back to 1979.
"No one can believe it," Colby head coach Jen Holsten said. "All the alums are starting to call in. I've already heard from eight or nine of them already."
Holsten, a 1990 Colby graduate, never beat Bowdoin during her playing career and has been frustrated over her successful 16 years as coach of the Mules. Holsten is the all-time leader in career coaching wins for the women's soccer program with her 113-90-27 career record, but none of the wins until Wednesday had come against the Polar Bears.
"The team came into the game confident and composed," Holsten said. "They focused on themselves and their game plan. They didn't focus on what has happened in the past. We came out strong and really put a lot of pressure on them right away."
The pressure paid off at 11:16 when Nikki Pickering scored off an assist from Julie Denison to give the Mules (3-4-1 overall, 1-3-1 NESCAC) their first league goal of the season. The score was the first in regulation time in league play in the past two years. Colby had won two 1-0 overtime games last year against Trinity and Bates on goals by Denison.
"Leah Turino started the play by getting the ball to Julie," Holsten said. "Julie play a short lead ball behind the defense and Nikki was able to run on to it. Her shot was on the ground and hit the inside of the far post and went in."
The Mules then had to wait out about a 45-minute lightning delay that forced the action to stop when the Polar Bears (4-4, 2-3) were about to attempt a corner kick.
"The rule says that you have to wait a half-hour after you see a strike to start playing again, but then we saw a second strike and probably went about 45 minutes before we could get going again," Holsten said. "Then we had to re-start the game with them taking a corner kick."
With Loni Pisani playing well again in goal, the Mules kept Bowdoin off the scoreboard. Pisani finished with six saves, including a few nice stops in the final 20 minutes.
Colby 1, Bowdoin 0
C: Nikki Pickering (Julie Denison), 11:14
Goalies: Loni Pisani (Colby, 90:00, 0 GA, 6 saves); Kat Flaherty (Bowdoin, 90:00, 1 GA, 4 saves).