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Colby prevails, 1-0, in women's soccer season finale







LEWISTON, Maine -- Alex Yorke redirected a corner kick by Grace Dickinson into the Bates goal in the 36th minute to lift Colby to a 1-0 NESCAC women's soccer victory over Bates in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Colby (7-6-1, 3-6-1 NESCAC) vaulted from 10th place in the conference to finish seventh, passing over Bates (5-6-2, 2-6-2 NESCAC) and Trinity and dropping Bowdoin into eighth place, to claim the seventh seed in this weekend's NESCAC Championship quarterfinals.

The game was evenly played, with the Mules achieving only a 25-24 advantage in shots and a 6-3 edge in corner kicks, but it was Dickinson's corner kick that decided the contest. Her long ball from the right corner traveled across the face of the Bates goal and was met firmly by Yorke's forehead. Yorke planted her header perfectly in the opposite direction, past the reach of Bates senior goalkeeper Annie Burns (Topsfield, Mass.) and inside the netting on the right side of the Bates goal.

The game began with Bates asserting control over the first 15 minutes, with the Bobcats creating several excellent opportunities that they couldn't convert: a shot by senior Lauren Dobish (Chambersburg, Pa.) that sailed wide, a header by senior Tina Tobin (Lowell, Mass.) that caromed off the crossbar, and an open header by senior Amanda Sirianni (Holliston, Mass.) after a corner kick by junior Bud Arens (Weymouth, Mass.) that was stopped by Colby first-year keeper Emily Brook. Meanwhile Colby also saw a shot ripped by first-year Cami Notaro that was poked safely over the crossbar by Burns.

With 18:45 left in the first half, Tobin received a long ball down the right wing and turned the corner around her defender. Tobin drove along the baseline but was stopped in her tracks by Brook, who bobbled the ball but fell on it to escape further trouble.

Colby changed the tone of the game after Yorke's goal came with 9:32 left in the first half, and the Mules outshot Bates 3-1 in the final nine minutes of the period.

Bates continued to struggle to find offensive continuity over the first 25 minutes of the second half, save for one foray when Courtney Talcott (Millbury, Mass.) forwarded a long lead pass to Tobin, who beat the goaltender Brook to the ball but only by a foot, and her volley bounced just wide of the left goalpost. Meanwhile Colby missed a chance to go up 2-0 when first-year Maddie Tight's one-on-one chance against Burns sailed high and wide in the 61st minute.

At the 70-minute mark the Bobcats began threatening the way they had at the start of the game. First-year Dakota Donovan (Marblehead, Mass.) had a great chance after an excellent serve by Talcott  that went wide of the left post, and that shot was followed shortly after by a narrow-angle one-on-one chance for Donovan that was stopped by Brook. With 12:11 left in the game, Arens' corner kick was headed to the goal by sophomore Jaimie Cappucci (Saugus, Mass.) but saved by Brook again.

The game was the last for Bates' six seniors: Burns, Dobish, Sirianni, Talcott, Tobin and Alix Vandeventer (North Attleboro, Mass.).

Stats and Play by Play: Colby 1, Bates 0