Featuring some of the finest academic institutions and best talent in the country, the NESCAC is never an easy conference to play in. Just ask the Bates women’s soccer team, who competed in two tough matches against formidable NESCAC foes this past weekend.

On a crisp Maine Saturday afternoon, Bates competed against the Wesleyan Cardinals, who made the roughly five hour trip up to Lewiston.

In the first few minutes of the game, Wesleyan unleashed a barrage of shots at Bates goalie Sara Mccarthy ’18. McCarthy stood tough, showcasing her unparalleled vision and anticipation. However, at the 12 minute mark, Nicole Brodkowitz of Wesleyan ripped a penalty shot to give her team a one goal advantage. Giving away a goal on a penalty was an onerous way to start the game.

The Bobcats were able to match Wesleyan’s seven total shots on goal for the rest of the half. However, in a sport like soccer, all that matters is getting the ball into the net, which the Bobcats were unable to do in the first half.

After an early second half goal from Wesleyan’s Olivia Gorman, Bates found themselves down 2-0. These are the times when the true character of a team is shown.

The Bobcats continued to control the ball in Wesleyan territory, but were unable to translate possession into a goal. However, with seven minutes to play, Olivia Amdur ‘19 smashed a shot into the top right corner off an assist from Hannah Behringer ‘18. Then just a minute later Ainsley Jamieson ‘17 converted a goal off a free kick.

“I’m proud of the resilience and fight that our team showed,” Head Coach Kelsy Ross said in an email.

“To come back after being down two goals is not easy to do.”

Per NESCAC rules, the teams played two overtime periods, but the match ended in a 2-2 tie.

The Bobcats had little time to recover from this grueling match as defending national champion and number one ranked Williams made their way to Russell Street Field on Sunday.

The sun shined bright on another picture perfect fall day. Unfortunately, this was the only thing that was shining for the Bobcats, as Williams showed why they are considered the best team in the conference.

The Ephs started out the game’s scoring with a goal from Allison Lu in the 33rd minute and would not look back from there.

The team’s aggressive attack continued for the rest of the match, as they outshot Bates 12-2 in the second half. McCarthy’s stellar goalkeeping continued to help the Bobcats stay in the game, but Bates could not generate the offense necessary to compete with Williams.

With an overall record of 2-5-1, the Bobcats are now desperate to get back on track next week. But things will not get any easier with their NESCAC schedule: the team will travel to Trinity and Amherst next weekend.

Hannah Graves '17 wins the ball John Neufeld/THE BATES STUDENT