No. 5 Field Hockey Falls to Conference Opponent Bates, 1-0 on Saturday

LEWISTON, Maine -The No. 5 nationally ranked Tufts field hockey team fell to conference opponent, Bates, 1-0 on Saturday afternoon. This was the Bobcats' second win over a top-five team this week.

Erin Sanders had one of the two shots on goal for the Jumbos

With the loss, the Jumbos fell to 8-4 overall and 6-2 in the New England Small College Athletic Conference, while Bates improved to 6-5 overall and 3-4 in the NESCAC.

Tufts threatened early on, as they received a penalty corner in the third minute of the game but the Bobcats defense was able to knockdown a shot by Mary Kate Patton to keep the game scoreless.   

Bates junior Taylor Lough had a shot of her own blocked early in the 12th minute. Bates kept the ball in Tufts' end and Lough lifted a high pass from the right baseline to the front of the Jumbos' goal. Patterson, about 8 feet in front of the right post, maintained position against a Tufts defender and batted the ball off a bounce into the turf, where it bounced again into the cage for the 1-0 lead, with 23:26 to go in the first half.

Tufts threatened again in the 33rd minute, as Erin Sanders, driving in from the right wing, had a shot blocked and a follow-up shot turned away by Bates junior goalie Adelae Durand.

Bates threatened to double its lead on back-to-back penalty corners with about eight minutes left in the game. Two shots by sophomore Grace Fitzgerald were blocked and a third, by Lough, was saved by Tufts goalie Emily Polinski.

For Bates defenders, Samantha Reiss, Alexa Jurgeleit, Fitzgerald, Shelbie McCormack and Caroline O'Reilly, the second half was mainly an exercise in keeping Tufts out of the circle. The Jumbos earned two penalty corners in the final four minutes as Bates fans held their breaths. With four minutes left, Celia Lewis's shot was blocked. The final corner came after time had expired, which the Bobcats were able to clear out without a shot attempted.

The Jumbos came away with the advantage in shots (8-6) and penalty corners (6-2), while Durand had two saves in her first solo shutout this season and  Polinski made one save for Tufts.

Bates faces its third top-six opponent of the week on Sunday, hosting No. 6 Amherst (8-3, 4-3) at noon. Tufts has a non-conference game at Wellesley Thursday at 4pm.

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Parts of this release courtesy of Bates