LEWISTON, Maine -- Senior Nicole Santosuosso broke through for the game-winning goal in the 23rd minute, and junior Polly Merck added an insurance goal early in the second half to lead the Bates field hockey team to a 2-0 win over the University of Southern Maine Tuesday evening at Campus Avenue Field.
Bates improves to 4-6 with the win and stops a two-game losing streak. The Huskies suffer their third straight loss and second consecutive loss without a goal to fall to 5-10 on the season.
Despite constant pressure on the Huskies back line, with a remarkable 37-5 edge in shots, it took Bates until the 23rd minute to net its first goal as Santosuosso (Canton, Mass.) redirected a cross from senior Laura Baran (Pittsburgh, Pa.) along the goal line for her second goal of the season. Bates took the 1-0 lead into the half, having outshot USM 18-3 in the opening half.
The Bobcats wasted little time doubling the lead in the second half, as Merck (Beverly Farms, Mass.) scored an unassisted goal just 25 seconds into the second stanza, finding the top of the net with a reverse stick hit. It was Merck's sixth goal this season, adding to her team scoring lead.
First-year goalkeeper Cristina Vega (Needham, Mass.) made one save to earn the shutout victory for the Bobcats, Vega's second shutout. USM junior goalkeeper Kayla Kennedy (Windham, Maine) made 14 saves in the loss.
Bates hosts Connecticut College on Saturday (12pm) in a NESCAC game. Southern Maine travels to Framingham State for a Little East Conference match-up on Saturday (4pm).