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Opoku, men's soccer defeat Maine Maritime 2-0

Eric Opoku scored back-to-back goals in the second half to lift Bates men's soccer to a 2-0 win over Maine Maritime on Oct. 3, 2017. (File photo by Theophil Syslo/Bates College) 

LEWISTON, Maine -- Sophomore Eric Opoku missed a penalty kick in the 64th minute, then scored the game's only two goals in the 68th and 71st minutes as the Bates men's soccer team defeated Maine Maritime Academy 2-0 Tuesday night at Garcelon Field.

Maine Maritime (2-6-2) suffered its first loss in three games, while Bates rose to 4-1-2 overall, with a 3-0 record in non-conference play.

Bates accumulated an 18-4 edge in shots by the time Opoku was awarded the penalty kick, but the game remained at a 0-0 draw as the sophomore forward's shot was batted away as Coleman leaned to his left.

But four minutes later, Bates came back to threaten Coleman and the Mariners once again. Senior forward Nate Merchant (Los Angeles, Calif.) made an outstanding move to his left to set up a rocket struck with the outside of his right foot from 12 yards out. Coleman reflexively slid and turned the shot away with his shins, and the ball bounced quickly to the nearby Opoku (Accra, Ghana), who volleyed in his first goal of the season.

Less than three minutes after his first goal, Opoku carried the ball some 30 yards up the right side and past two defenders, then slid the ball inside the far left post past a defenseless Coleman.

With the Mariner defense suddenly faltering, Bates kept up the pressure and nearly netted two more scores on quick succession a minute after doubling its lead. Mariner defender Jack Davis used his chest to deflect a Merchant shot off a rebounded save.

Opoku's two scores came as a relief to the Bobcats after a number of missed scoring opportunities. The Bobcats outshot the Mariners by a 32-6 count, with corner kicks 11-2 in Bates' favor.

Coleman made eight saves in the loss, while Bates junior goalie Robbie Montanaro (Belmont, Mass.) required no saves in earning his second straight shutout and the fourth of his career.