Field hockey stifles Babson in 2-0 road victory

Sydney Cowles put Bates up for good with her first goal of the season at Babson on Oct. 15, 2014. (File photo by Russ Dillingham) 

BABSON PARK, Mass. -- Senior captain Jillian Conway had a goal and an assist, and junior goalkeeper Cristina Vega posted her first shutout of the season to lift the Bates field hockey team past Babson College, 2-0, in non-conference action on Wednesday afternoon at MacDowell Field.

In an outstanding all-around effort, the Bobcats (3-8) held the Beavers (8-7) to only two shot attempts in the game.

Sophomore Sydney Cowles (Radnor, Pa.) also scored for the Bobcats, while first-year Delaney Nalen (Englewood, Colo.) contributed an assist in the win.

Bates had the only four shots of the first half, but was unable to take advantage of its early scoring chances. Junior Danielle Pierce (Parsonfield, Maine) and Nalen both had their shots turned away by Beavers' goalkeeper Kayla Costa in the opening 21 minutes. 

The Bobcats broke through late in the period, as Cowles took a penalty corner and then got to the cage and tipped in a pass from Conway (Andover, Mass.) at the left post with 4:49 to go before halftime for a 1-0 lead.

After Kelsi McDougle came up with a defensive save to keep the deficit at one just under eight minutes into the second half, Babson was unable to capitalize on its best scoring chance of the game on the following trip down the field. Elise Towers carried the ball down the right sideline and found Caroline Malone with a long centering pass, but Vega (Needham, Mass.) made a pad-save on her attempt from point-blank range to keep the Beavers off the scoreboard.

Bates extended its lead in the 50th minute, scoring off a corner for the second time on the day. Following Cowles' insert, Conway took a pass from Nalen at the top of the arc, took one dribble to her right, and ripped a shot that went inside the far post for a two-goal edge. The senior defender just netted her first collegiate goal on Saturday against SUNY Oneonta.

Vega finished with two saves to earn her third win of the season for the Bobcats, while Costa stopped four shots for the Beavers.

Bates held a 9-2 edge in shots and had a 7-2 advantage in penalty corners.

The Bobcats next travel to No. 3 nationally ranked Middlebury for a Saturday 11 a.m. NESCAC game.