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Field hockey staves off Hamilton for 4-3 NESCAC win

Bates teammates celebrate Isabel Garcia-Moreno's (20) goal in Bates' 4-3 NESCAC victory on Sept. 10, 2016. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)  

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates field hockey team held off a late surge by Eva Rosencrans and Hamilton for a 4-3 victory in both teams' New England Small College Athletic Conference openers on Saturday at Campus Avenue Field.

With its first win over Hamilton since 2012, Bates (2-0, 1-0 NESCAC) is 2-0 for the first time since 2006. The Bobcats next have a NESCAC game at No. 2 nationally ranked Bowdoin Wednesday at 7pm.

Hamilton (0-2, 0-1 NESCAC) scored the first goal of the game in the seventh minute, with Tatiana Bradley crashing the goal and knocking the ball in after Sarah Stinebaugh drove with the ball and drew Bates' defense. 

Bates took over the lead with back-to-back goals in the 14th and 18th minutes. First-year Hannah McLane's (Darien, Conn.) pass to first-year Isabel Garcia-Moreno (Baltimore, Md.) by the left post pulled the Bobcats into a tie, the second goal this season for Garcia-Moreno. Four minutes later McLane cashed in a goal from in front after first-year Alexandra Leahy (Cohasset, Mass.) circled past a Hamilton defender.

But Rosencrans, who led Hamilton in 2015 with 12 goals, scored unassisted in the 24th minute, sending the game into halftime at 2-2. She picked up a loose ball on the left side of the circle and slapped the ball inside the far post, past Bates sophomore starting goalkeeper Adelae Durand (Cumberland, R.I.).

Bates retook the lead on a penalty corner in the eighth minute of the second half, as first-year Grace Fitzgerald (Larchmont, N.Y.), the inserter on the play, knocked in the ball from near the left goalpost on sophomore Emma Patterson's (Denver, Colo.) pass from the left side. 

Bates got the insurance goal it would need in the 60th minute, when sophomore Jessie Moriarty (Springfield, Mass.) knocked in the rebound from sophomore teammate Taylor Lough's (Little Compton, R.I.) blocked shot.

Bates led 4-2 until 4:03 remained, when Rosencrans carried the ball up on a breakaway, then wheeled around a defender in the middle of the circle before shooting past Bates first-year goalkeeper Alyssa Souza (Scarborough, Maine).

The Contintentals kept up the pressure for the remainder of the game, winning a penalty corner and attempting two last shots, including one with 40 seconds by Bradley that Souza deflected away.

Bates outshot Hamilton 18-11 for the game, with Continentals goalie Julia Booth collecting seven saves. For Bates, Durand made two saves and allowed two goals in the first half, then Souza made two saves and allowed one goal in the second half in earning her first victory.