|Bates College||Thomas College|
WATERVILLE, Maine — When the Bates men’s soccer team needed a boost on offense Wednesday night against Thomas College, junior forward Nate Merchant delivered. He scored twice in the second half, once in the 54th minute and once in the 87th minute to lead the Bobcats to a 2-1 come-from-behind win.
Merchant (Los Angeles, Calif.) now leads the Bobcats (4-6-2) in goals with four on the season.
The Terriers (8-4-1) and Bobcats played a fairly even match, with Thomas out-shooting Bates 20-19 overall. Sophomore goalkeeper Robbie Montanaro (Belmont, Mass.) made nine saves in the match for the Bobcats.
But at halftime, the Bobcats found themselves down 1-0 because Josh Emard scored on a shot just inside the right post in the 41st minute. A through ball from Willie Clemons set up Emard’s goal.
After being out-shot 12-6 in the first half, Bates turned the tables in the second half, tallying 13 shots to Thomas’ eight.
In the 54th minute, senior Peabo Knoth (Portland, Maine) found senior Matt DiVite (Murray Hill, N.J) with a through ball. Thomas keeper Drew Martin came running out to poke the ball away from DiVite’s feet. Fortunately for Bates the ball deflected right to Merchant who blasted it into the back of the net for the equalizer.
With time running out, Merchant delivered an outstanding individual effort to give Bates the lead for good.
In the 87th minute, sophomore Drew Munoz (Dallas, Texas) kicked a cross that was cleared over to Merchant. Merchant was able to flip the ball over a defender’s head and run around him to secure possession and fire a shot that found the back of the net to put Bates up 2-1.
Neither team recorded another shot in the remaining minutes and Bates earned their eighth win over the course of their last nine matches with the Terriers.
The Bobcats are back in action Sunday at 3:00 p.m. when they visit Maine Maritime.