LEWISTON, Maine – Despite striking first and twice owning the lead, a two-goal third period by the Bobcats proved too much to overcome as the No. 20 Amherst College field hockey team was edged by No. 16 Bates College Saturday afternoon at Campus Ave Field.
With the setback, Amherst falls to 8-6 on the year and to 3-6 in league play, while Bates improves to 9-5 overall (5-4 NESCAC). Amherst returns to the field for its regular season finale on Tuesday, Oct. 29 when they travel to Trinity College for a 6PM conference bout under the lights.
Converting on their first penalty corner of the game and first shot on target, the Mammoths needed just 5:55 to open up scoring behind sophomore Sage Geyer's second goal of the fall. Lining up across the arc, Beth Williamson '22 gathered Laura Schwartzman's '20 insertion pass and dished the ball to her left to Geyer who drove a low hard shot through the legs of the Bobcats' keeper.
Responding with 1:49 before the first break, Grace Fitzgerald made it 1-1 at the end of 15 minutes with an assist from Paige Cote. Drawing a corner, Cote corralled the ball and sent a stick-to-stick pass to Fitzgerald down low on the left post for the one-time score.
Taking a one-goal edge into halftime, sophomore Natalie Hobbs netted her team-leading sixth goal of the season with 49 seconds on the clock. Sparking the scoring play, Schwartzman forced a turnover at midfield and sent a dish to Jackie D'Alleva '23 on the right sideline before the first-year sent a 25-yard ball to Caroline Donahue '21 in the middle just outside the circle. Poking the ball past a defender to earn a 1-v-0, the Bates keeper came away with the sliding save on Donahue's attempt, however the ball bounced right to a wide-open Hobbs who chipped a shot over the goalie and into the nylon.
Adding two-goals to the board in the third period, scores by Sarah Bussell and Alexa Jurgeleit 53 seconds apart was enough to give the home team the victory.
Bridget Thompson connected with Bussell at the 53:02 mark who deked to her right and sent a shot past the Mammoths' goaltender before Cote found Jurgeleit on a corner opportunity at the 53:55 mark.
Looking to net the equalizer in the fourth, Hobbs and Geyer each had a solid scoring chance to try to force overtime, however Hobb's attempt in the 49th minute rang off the post and Geyer's try with 1:32 remaining in regulation was stonewalled by Grace Biddle.
The Mammoths held an 11-10 edge in shots, while the Bobcats owned the advantage in shots on frame, 5-4, and penalty corners, 6-4.
Making two saves in between the pipes, Emilie Flamme '20 (8-6) took the loss for Amherst, while Biddle (6-1) registered two stops for Bates in the win.