On Wednesday, Bates played Colby in both teams’ last regular season game. Hinging on the outcome of the game was the eighth and last spot in the NESCAC playoffs. Bates just needed a win to advance while Colby needed a victory and for Connecticut College to win over Wesleyan. After a halftime score of 0-0, the results were in, and Conn. College had won. Both teams knew that whoever won the second half would advance to the playoffs.
The Mules opened the half strong, but the Bobcats dominated the last 20 minutes of the game. Both teams had 11 shot attempts, while Bates had a total of five corners to Colby’s three. With time winding down, first-year striker Adah Lindquist intercepted a sloppy pass and struck it home past Colby’s keeper. The defense held strong the remainder of the game and shut the Mules down to advance to the playoffs for the first time in five years.
Senior keeper Christina Vega recorded seven saves and her third shutout of the season. With the win, the Bobcats secured the eighth seed in the NESCAC playoffs and a game against top-seeded, undefeated Bowdoin in the first round.
Senior captain Shannon Beaton was ecstatic, saying, “I am so incredibly proud of this team. This is a big moment in our program’s history and will be great for the underclassmen moving forward. Beating Colby on Wednesday night was incredible and if we bring the same intensity into our game versus Bowdoin, it’ll be a great game!”
Bates played Bowdoin earlier in the year, and lost 5-0 in their second game of the season. Sophomore Sam Reiss stated, “Playing Bowdoin is always fun and we certainly did not play our best when we played them earlier in the season. Bowdoin was one of our first NESCAC matches this season and we have changed so much as a team and are really looking forward to having a second opportunity against them.” In preparation for the playoff game, the team worked hard to focus their game plan against Bowdoin. Reiss continued, “These last two practices we’ve really been focusing on playing our style of game and becoming more aggressive all over the field.”
The Polar Bears are ranked number one in the region, and would obviously prove a tough team to face. The Bobcats gave it all they had, but in the end Bowdoin had the upper hand and advanced to the NESCAC semifinals with a 4-1 win. The season was one of Bates’ best in a long time. Their seven wins were the most they’ve had since 2005, and the team is full of young talent and looking to continue their success next year.