NEW LONDON, Conn. -- Bates sophomore Wally Pierce (Weston, Mass.) scored an unassisted goal with seven seconds remaining in the second overtime period, giving the 20th-ranked Bobcats a 12-11 NESCAC victory on Friday, clinching a spot in the NESCAC Championship tournament.
The win moves Bates to 7-6 overall and 3-6 in conference play. (UPDATE: Saturday's NESCAC results clinched the eighth seed for Bates, and they will play at top-seeded Trinity in the conference quarterfinals on Saturday, April 28 at 12pm.) The Camels drop to 5-10 overall and 1-8 in the NESCAC.
Bates senior Joan O'Neill (Westwood, Mass.) netted four goals to go with one assist for the winning side. O'Neill's 11th game with three or more goals this season gave her 205 career points at the end of the day.
Pierce, senior Jenna Dannis (Milford, N.H.) and sophomore SooHee Yoon (Lexington, Mass.) all contributed two scores apiece for the Bobcats. Junior Linnea Fulton (Bristol, R.I.) added a pair of assists to go with four ground balls. Junior goalie Eloise O’Connor (Loudonville, N.Y.) stopped 10 shots between the pipes.
Connecticut College sophomore Lowell Abbott (Manchester, Mass.) had four goals and one assist in the setback. Bri Miller (Sudbury, Mass.) finished with four goals for the Camels. Libby Nichols (Baltimore, Md.) scored twice and senior Katelyn Driscoll (Peabody, Mass.) had a goal, an assist, six ground balls and four caused turnovers. Kelsey Burke (Atlanta, Ga.) stopped 11 shots in the cage.
Bates stormed out to a 9-4 advantage at the half. But the Camels battled back, using a 6-1 run to pull even at 10. Bri Miller capped the rally when she dangled her way through three Bates defenders and scored with a spin move from the high slot area with 36 seconds left in regulation, completing a 3-0 Camels run over hte final 17 minutes of the second half.
The two teams exchange goals in the first overtime. With 2:17 left in the six-minute extra period, senior Maggie Reilly (Concord, Mass.) scored on an assist from O'Neill, Bates' first goal since O'Neill's free-position shot less than eight minutes into the second half. But Miller netted her fourth goal with 58 seconds to go, forcing a three-minute sudden-victory overtime period. With 7.7 seconds showing on the clock, Pierce was able to find the slightest bit of daylight to bury a low shot past Burke for the game-winner.