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Women's soccer edged in overtime, 2-1

Sam Alper '12 scored her fourth goal of the season to tie the game.

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- First-year Laura Kurash scored 3:48 into overtime to give Wesleyan University (7-4-1, 3-4-0 NESCAC) a 2-1 victory over visiting Bates College (4-7-1, 1-6-0 NESCAC) Saturday.

Kurash corralled a loose ball in the middle of the box after a failed clearing attempt by Bates and fired it just past sophomore goalkeeper Annie Burns (Topsfield, Mass.) to give Wesleyan its second NESCAC win in overtime this season.

Sophomore Sam Alper (Holliston, Mass.) scored Bates' goal to tie the game at 1-1 in the 50th minute. Next Saturday Bates will host Middlebury, ranked third in New England and 22nd in Division III.

Wesleyan had taken a 1-0 lead to halftime following a goal by junior Dasha Battelle. Battelle took a pass from Kurash in the left side of the box and fired home her fourth goal of the season in the 33rd minute. Battelle’s goal was one of just three shots for Wesleyan in the first half, as Bates held a 6-3 edge in that category. The Bobcats, however, couldn't capitalize on multiple opportunities to score.

Bates had a key chance in the seventh minute as sophomore Courtney Talcott (Millbury, Mass.) found herself all alone in front of the net, but Talcott failed to get enough on the shot and Wesleyan goalkeeper Kate Connolly-Smithwick stopped it for one of her three saves on the afternoon. Bates missed another opportunity in the 34th minute as sophomore Tina Tobin’s (Lowell, Mass.) shot on an open net sailed wide.

Bates broke through with the equalizer early in the second half, as the Bobcats controlled the ball in Wesleyan’s end of the field for much of the first four minutes of the half. In the 50th minute, Alper ran into the right side of the box all alone and fired a shot just inside the left post past a diving Connolly-Smithwick for her fourth goal of the season.

Wesleyan had a chance to take the lead in the 62nd minute following a corner kick. A misplay led to a loose ball in traffic in front of the net, but the ball trickled out of bounds before either team could attempt to make a play on it.

Burns made three saves in the Bates net, including two in the second half as Wesleyan held a 5-3 advantage in shots in that period. The teams combined to take just three corner kicks, two by Wesleyan and one by Bates, all of which came in the second.

This was Kurash’s first game back after missing eight contests due to an injury. Earlier in the year, she set a school record for points in a game when she netted four goals along with two assists in a 7-0 victory at Smith.

STATS: Wesleyan 2, Bates 1 (OT)