|Middlebury College||Bates College|
LEWISTON, Maine — The No. 20 nationally ranked Bates field hockey team jumped out to a 2-0 lead Saturday against No. 2 Middlebury but the Panthers exploded for four goals in the second half to prevail 6-3 over the Bobcats at Campus Avenue Field.
The loss snaps the Bobcats’ five-game winning streak, their longest winning streak since 1999.
Erin Nicholas’ goal in the 52nd minute put the Panthers ahead for good on the afternoon. But the Bobcats led for most of the first 51 minutes.
Bates (8-6, 4-5 NESCAC) jumped out to the early lead in the ninth minute of action. Junior Jessie Moriarty (Springfield, Mass.) fed the ball into the offensive zone and junior Taylor Lough (Little Compton, R.I.) fought to get the ball in front of the net. First-year Emily Gianunzio (Darien, Conn.) cleaned up in the middle of the chaos for her second goal of the season.
The Bobcats added to their advantage in the 22nd minute. Junior Shelbie McCormack (Tyngsborough, Mass.) passed the ball to Moriarty and she went top shelf to score over the leaping Middlebury keeper, making the score 2-0 in Bates’ favor.
But the Panthers (12-2, 8-1 NESCAC) rallied quickly.
In the 25th minute, junior goalkeeper Adelae Durand (Cumberland, R.I.) made one of her career-high 10 saves, when she kicked the ball away from Middlebury’s Grace Jennings. But Jennings recovered and weaved her way through the Bobcat defense, scoring from close range on the run to cut the Bates lead to 2-1.
The Panthers scored the equalizer in the 27th minute thanks to a tremendous play from Jennings. She ran hard down the left side of the field and delivered a perfect cross to Julia Richards. Richards scored from point blank range to tie the game at two.
The score stood 2-2 at the half and the Bobcats got on the board first in the second half to take the lead again. Moriarty continued her strong game by tapping the ball to the middle of the offensive zone and senior Sydney Beres (New York, N.Y.) scored from directly in front of the net to give Bates a 3-2 edge.
Middlebury finished the game by scoring four unanswered goals. In the 50th minute, the Panthers took advantage of a penalty corner. Audrey Quirk took the corner and after receiving the ball back on the end line she delivered a shot that Marissa Baker deflected in, tying the score at three.
Baker and Nicholas teamed up to give the Panthers the lead for the first time in the 52nd minute. Baker took the ball along the end line and crossed it in front of the net. Nicholas was able to poke it home to put the Panthers up 4-3.
They didn’t trail again, with Baker and Jennings both adding their second goals of the day down the stretch.
The Panthers tallied 23 shots while Bates recorded five. Meanwhile, Middlebury earned 13 penalty corners to the Bobcats’ one.
Bates is back in action Wednesday when the Bobcats travel to Colby to take on the Mules at 7:00 p.m.