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Murphy, Grees blast men's soccer past USM, 7-1









LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates College men's soccer team jumped out to a 2-0 lead after four minutes and led 7-0 by halftime in a 7-1 non-conference victory over the University of Southern Maine on Wednesday night on the synthetic turf of Garcelon Field.

Bates now stands 4-8 overall with a 4-0 record against non-conference opponents. Southern Maine dropped to 3-12.

Junior John Murphy (Yarmouth, Maine) scored two spectacular goals and added two assists, including one on a free kick from 70 yards away. Sophomore Tyler Grees (Williamstown, Mass.) scored once and collected four assists to tie the team single-game record. First-year forward Nick Ford (Columbus, Ohio) contributed his first two collegiate goals in the win.

The game settled down in the second half. After Bates achieved a 27-3 advantage in shots in the first half, the Bobcats only outshot the Huskies 9-8 in the second period.

Murphy scored 2:20 into the contest, taking a pass from Grees and lining up an open shot from the left corner of the USM penalty area that sailed over USM first-year goalie Alex Charette (Fort Kent, Maine) and into the upper right corner of the net.

The Bobcats made it 2-0 just 1:37 later, as sophomore Ethan Kass (New York, N.Y.) sent a cross from the right wing into the box. Grees headed the ball from close to the near post over to junior Ethan Hirshberg (Concord, N.H.), who threaded a shot inside the far post for his career-best fifth goal of the year.

Murphy's long assist to Grees made it 3-0 in the 12th minute. Murphy struck the ball from the 30-yard line on Garcelon's football grid, on the left side of the field, and it traveled to about the 5-yard line at the other end of the field, where Grees, about 10 yards away from the goal, leaped and headed the ball diagonally past Charette and in.

Bates found the right corner of the USM net a fourth time in the 17th minute. Murphy's cross from the left wing was headed by Grees to sophomore back Dan Remillard (Hanover, N.H.), who headed it back the other way for his first goal of the season.

Murphy netted his team- and career-best eighth goal of the year on another spectacular free kick. Standing near the right sideline at about the 25-yard football line, Murphy rocketed a kick that tucked just under the crossbar and into the very top left corner of USM's goal -- at least a 40-yard distance on the kick.

Bates still wasn't done, as Ford scored twice before halftime. His first goal came off a deflected save on junior Alec Taylor's (Mendham, N.J.) screamer from the outside. Ford one-timed the rebound for a score from about 15 yards away, putting Bates ahead 6-0 with 7:15 left in the first half.

Ford found the back of the net again in the 43rd minute, when Grees struck a deft volley up the field for a streaking Ford, who converted an unguarded shot from 20 yards away.

Huskies senior Chris Kain (Kennebunk, Maine) put Southern Maine on the scoreboard four minutes into the second half, ripping a turnaround shot over the head of Bates senior goalie Brian Goldberg (New York, N.Y.) and scraping the bottom of the crossbar on its way in. It was Kain's first tally of the season.

Grees's four assists tied Bates' all-time single-game record, with Ken Gibbs '74 (vs. Bridgeport, 1972) and Derek Cook '94 (vs. Southern Maine, 1992).

Goldberg made all four of Bates' saves in his 33 minutes of playing time. Senior Greg Watts (West Chester, Pa.) played the first half, and sophomore Chris Gillespie (Arundel, Maine) saw his first action of the season, playing the final 12 minutes.

Bates plays host to Middlebury for a NESCAC game on Saturday at 2 p.m. The game can be followed online via live video webcast and by live stats.

Stats and Play by Play: Bates 7, Southern Maine 1