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Merchant, Watson receive All-NESCAC honors in men's soccer

Seniors Max Watson (left) and Nate Merchant (right) comprise the Bates men's soccer program's first pair of All-NESCAC honorees since 2006. (File photos by Theophil Syslo/Bates College)  

HADLEY, Mass. -- Bates seniors Nate Merchant and Max Watson were both named All-NESCAC on Thursday, as the New England Small College Athletic Conference announced its all-conference men's soccer teams.

Merchant (Los Angeles, Calif.) is a forward on the First Team and Watson (Yarmouth, Maine) was named a Second Team all-conference defender.

Merchant led Bates in both goals (6) and assists (6), for the second straight season, tying sophomore Beaufils Kimpolo-Pene (Bronx, N.Y.) in the former category for both the team lead and for fourth place in the NESCAC. Merchant played in 53 games at forward for Bates, including 46 starts. Over his career, Merchant totaled 18 goals and 11 assists.

Watson played in 51 games over his career on defense for the Bobcats, including 37 starts. A team co-captain in 2017, Watson has six goals and one assist to his credit over his career, including a tally in Bates' 3-0 victory over Middlebury on Oct. 21.

It is Bates' first season with two All-NESCAC awardees since 2006, when Duane Pelz and Rob Munro were both named to the second team. Merchant is Bates' first First Team All-NESCAC selection since both Terence O'Connell and David Shear earned the honor in 2005.

The awards come after Bates' 8-6-2 season, which featured the Bobcats' most victories -- both overall and in conference play -- since 2008, as well as their first berth in the NESCAC Championship tournament since 2010.

2017 NESCAC Men's Soccer All-Conference Teams