Field hockey falls 2-0 to Colby in season finale

LEWISTON, Maine -- Colby College received goals from Megan Fortier and McKayla Blanch to defeat the Bates College field hockey team 2-0 in the regular-season finale for both teams Wednesday night at Campus Avenue Field.

The Mules finish 9-6 with a 4-6 conference record, and hold the seventh seed in this weekend's quarterfinal round of eight-team NESCAC Field Hockey Championship. Colby will play at No. 2 seed Middlebury Saturday at 1pm.

Bates finishes the year 4-11 overall and 0-10 in NESCAC play. Six of the Bobcats' conference losses came by a margin of two goals or fewer, with two of them in overtime.

Colby broke a scoreless tie in the 21st minute on the Mules' fourth penalty corner of the first half. With 14:09 left in the period, Erin Maguire took Kaitlyn O'Connell's insertion pass on the left edge of the circle and fired toward the far right goalpost, where Fortier was positioned for the redirection into the goal. Colby had a 5-0 edge in corners in the first half, 8-2 in the game.

The Mules struck again with 23:43 left in the second half. Bates junior goalie Katie Knox (Bronxville, N.Y.) deflected a Fortier shot away down the right baseline to Misha Strage. Strage passed to Blanch in front of the Bates goal for the finish and a 2-0 Colby lead.

Bates attempted two shots the rest of the way in its comeback bid. With under a minute to go, the Bobcats had their second penalty corner of the game, resulting in a Delaney Nalen shot that was saved by Colby's Sarah Evans. With 2:30 left in the game, Nalen recorded her seventh defensive save of the year on a shot by Colby's O'Connell.

It was the final game for Bates' two senior captains, defender Jillian Conway (Andover, Mass.) and forward Caroline Falcone (New Canaan, Conn.).

Knox made two saves for Bates in the second half in relief of starting goalie Cristina Vega (Needham, Mass.). Evans made one save for Colby.