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Field hockey tops Babson 4-1 for third straight win

Shannon Beaton scored a pair of goals and helped set up Bates' first tally in a 4-1 win over Babson on Oct. 13, 2013. File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College.

LEWISTON, Maine -- Five minutes after Babson tied the game at 1-1, Shannon Beaton scored the first of her two goals to put the Bates field hockey team in the lead for good, as the Bobcats came away with a 4-1 non-conference win on Sunday at Campus Avenue Field. 

Bates' (4-7) win is its third in a row, and also breaks Babson's five-game winning streak between the teams, dating to the 2008 season.

The Beavers (8-6) entered the game having won six of their past seven games, including Saturday's 5-1 defeat of Smith.

The game's first 49 minutes saw just one goal, a penalty stroke tally by Bates senior Polly Merck (Beverly Farms, Mass.) in the first half. With 11:26 left to play in the opening period, a long pass reached Beaton on a breakaway. Babson starting goalie Kayla Florence sprinted out of the goal to intercept Beaton, stopping the threat but sending the sophomore forward flying. Bates was awarded the penalty stroke, which Merck flicked into the upper left corner of the Babson goal for a 1-0 lead.

The Beavers evened the score in the 50th minute, when Morgan Lockwood crossed to an open Elizabeth Holmes from the right baseline, and Holmes knocked in her seventh goal of the season.

Undeterred, the Bobcats retook the lead in the 55th minute. From the left top of the Babson circle, sophomore Danielle Pierce (Parsonsfield, Maine) passed over on the left flank to Beaton, who slapped her shot past Babson goalie Kayla Costa, who had replaced Florence at intermission.

Five minutes later, the Bobcats added to the lead, as senior captain Sarah Warden (North Andover, Mass.) quickly advanced the ball into the circle after a whistle and pushed the ball to junior Caroline Falcone (New Canaan, Conn.), who one-timed her shot in for a 3-1 lead, Falcone's team- and career-high eighth score.

Bates kept up the pressure in the remaining time, with Beaton (West Newbury, Mass.) attempting four more of her game-high six shots. Her final attempt connected with 8.5 seconds left on the game clock, as Falcone's long cross found her at the top of the circle for a turnaround shot and the final 4-1 count.

Costa made three saves in the second half for Babson, while Bates sophomore Christina Vega (Needham, Mass.) made two stops in the game. Bates outshot Babson 21-9 and a modest 9-8 advantage in penalty corners.

Bates resumes its NESCAC slate on Saturday, hosting Middlebury at noon; Babson next plays at Mount Holyoke in a NEWMAC contest on Saturday at 2pm.