Men's Soccer Earns Top Seed in NESCAC Tournament With 0-0 Tie Against Bowdoin

MEDFORD, Mass. – The Tufts University men's soccer team played to a 0-0 tie today against Bowdoin at Bello Field. With the tie, the Jumbos (12-1-2, 7-1-2 NESCAC) finish the regular season in first place in the conference and earn the number one seed in the NESCAC tournament. The Polar Bears (10-3-2, 6-2-2 NESCAC) will be either the two or three seed.

Bruce Johnson has not allowed a goal throughout the entire regular season

There weren't all that many scoring opportunities for either team, as both sides played hard in an attempt to limit the other's chances. With the two overtime periods, there were 12 shots taken between the two teams, with Tufts having the edge nine to three.

One of the only opportunities in the first half came in the 42nd minute when Bowdoin sent a cross into the box where Polar Bear junior Moctar Niang was waiting and looked poised to head the ball on goal, but Jumbo keeper Bruce Johnson was able to cut the pass off just in time.

In the 48th minute a ball was played back to co-captain Conor Coleman and somehow slid past him. Bowdoin's Jason Oliver was right there to steal the loose ball and take off with it into the box. Coleman was able to catch up and put pressure on him, forcing his shot to go wide.

Jumbo defenseman Matt Zinner had a free kick in the 68th minute from about 25 yards out that he sent toward goal, but it went high.

The final chance of regulation came in the 84th minute when Kevin Halliday sent a cross into the box that was about to find the feet of Zach Lane, when Polar Bear goalie Stevie Van Siclen was able to lay out and punch the ball away.

The scariest moment for the Jumbos came in the first overtime period in the 95th minute. A cross was sent into their box by Bowdoin and in an attempt to clear it, the ball was deflected off what appeared to be the head of Brett Rojas and hit the cross bar of Tufts' goal. The ball rebounded and a shot was immediately taken by Oliver that was hit straight at Johnson who was still on the ground after jumping for the initial incoming deflection. Johnson made the save to put the Jumbos out of danger.

A few minutes later, Johnson subbed out for Conner Mieth as he appeared to be walking gingerly after the play.

The last chance of the game for either side came in the 100th minute when a high bouncing ball made its way into the Tufts box. As a player from both teams battled for it, Mieth came over and snagged it out of danger.

Johnson saved the only shot on goal that he faced and has still not been scored on in all nine of his games played this season.

Both teams will host a NESCAC quarterfinal game this Saturday. Tufts will play #8 seed Bates College at Bello Field with a 12:30 p.m. start. Bowdoin is the #3 seed and will play #6 Williams College on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.


Written by Curtis Stoychoff, Athletic Communications Intern