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Camels prevail in thrilling men's soccer season opener, 1-0

Junior goalie Greg Watts recorded six saves at Connecticut College on Saturday.

NEW LONDON, Conn. -- A second-half goal on a free kick by Trevor Prophet sent the Bates College men's soccer team to a 1-0 setback to Connecticut College in the season opener for both NESCAC rivals on Saturday.

Prophet fired home a shot on a free kick from the 18 yard line in the 57th minute of play for the Camels. Junior Oscar Brown assisted on the game-winner.

Camels goalie Casey Marini made two saves in the second half of action to post the shutout in his collegiate debut. Marini denied Bates sophomore John Murphy (Yarmouth, Maine) with a diving stab on a penalty kick with 39:29 remaining in regulation to preserve the lead.

Bates junior Gregg Watts (West Chester, Pa.) finished with six saves for the visiting Bobcats.

The Camels pressured the Bates defense early. In the ninth minute of action, Brown launched a 25-yard blast from the left side that was headed for the upper left hand side of the goal. But Watts was able to elevate and make a deflection to come up with the save. Less than a minute later, Billy Hawkey launched one of his four shots in the contest for the Camels, but Watts was able to make the stop.

Later on in the half, the Bobcats nearly connected when Murphy launched a corner kick with 28:45 to go. The ball sailed all the way through the box to the far post, and senior Dustin DiGregorio (Boxford, Mass.) lined up for a header, but his shot sailed over the crossbar.

The Camels took the lead when Prophet and Brown connected. Then with 20:50 remaining, Isaac Hancock blocked a shot to keep the Bobcats off the scoreboard.

Bates plays host to UMaine-Farmington on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. in a non-conference home opener.

STATS: Connecticut College 1, Bates 0