LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates College men's soccer team erased a 1-0 halftime deficit with three goals in the opening 15:20 of the second half, handing St. Joseph's College of Maine a 3-1 non-conference defeat at Garcelon Field on Tuesday night.
Bates (1-1-0) picked up first-year head coach Stewart Flaherty's first career win before a large home opener crowd of over 500 fans on a cool night under the lights at Garcelon.
The visiting Monks, the defending GNAC conference champions, fell to 1-3-1 on the season.
Bates controlled play for most of the first half and outshot the Monks by a 9-4 margin, but St. Joe's came away with the halftime lead thanks to senior Teddy Palmer's (Scarborough, Maine) first goal of the season. Palmer headed in a corner kick delivered by junior Garrett Darnell (Gray, Maine) in the 16th minute of the contest.
Bates ramped up the intensity for a 15-4 edge in shots in the second half, and the Bobcats evened the game less than two minutes after intermission. After a Monks foul, senior captain John Murphy (Yarmouth, Maine) sent a free kick from near half-field to the right side of the St. Joe's box, where sophomore Tyler Schleich (Santa Barbara, Calif.) fought off two Monks defenders to gain possession and get off a laser shot that passed in front of Monks junior goalkeeper Kenny Grade (Hampton, N.H.) and into the side netting on the far side.
Murphy notched the game-winning goal in the 58th minute, warding off two defenders on the left side of the box before the left-footed midfielder set a low, right-footed shot under the reach of Grade for a 2-1 Bates lead.
Less than three minutes later, Bates senior Ethan Hirshberg (Concord, N.H.) guided another laser shot much like Schleich's after taking a feed from sophomore Jonathan Lin (Natick, Mass.) in the right side of the box.
Grade made seven saves in the game. Bates first-year goalie Sam Polito (Far Hills, N.J.) got the start and made one save. First-year Zach Shabman (Scarsdale, N.Y.) played the final 15 minutes in net for Bates.
After the game, the team auctioned off some of the 20 commemorative 9/11 game jerseys worn by the Bobcats in the game. All proceeds from the auction will benefit Families of Freedom, which raises money toward college scholarships for children who lost parents on Sept. 11, 2001. As of midday Tuesday, the team had already raised more than $6,000 in this effort, for less than half of the available jerseys. Those interested in bidding are encouraged to email coach Flaherty (email@example.com) with their bids.