Women's lax pulls away from Babson for 16-10 victory

Kelan McCann scored one goal and added three assists in Bates' 16-10 win over Babson on March 11, 2014. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates women's lacrosse team is off to its best start through five games since the 2007 season, at 4-1, following the Bobcats' 16-10 non-conference win over Babson on Tuesday evening at Garcelon Field.

Bates scored seven of the first eight goals in the second half, including three straight in the opening 2:36 of the period, to pull away from a 7-7 tie at intermission. The visiting Beavers remain winless at 0-4.

Sophomore Moriah Greenstein (Glenmont, N.Y.) and senior Wally Pierce (Weston, Mass.) scored four goals apiece to lead the Bobcats, with Greenstein adding two assists and Pierce also contributing one assist and a game-high eight draw controls. Sophomore Kelan McCann (Shrewsbury, Mass.) added a goal and a career-high three assists, and both senior Blair Shrewsbury (Boxford, Mass.) and sophomore Cara Cappellini (Manhasset, N.Y.) scored two goals apiece. First-year Kaileigh Maguire (Sudbury, Mass.) submitted her best game to date with one goal, one assist and three draw controls.

Rachel Secrist led Babson with four goals, an assist and five draw controls, while Misha Beatty chipped in two goals, two assists, and four draw controls. McKenzie Tucci scored twice.

Bates avenged a 10-9 defeat at Babson last season, and increased its record in the teams' all-time series to 14-6.

Bates went up 2-0 when Maguire hit Pierce in stride driving down the middle, and Pierce finished the play, prompting a timeout called by Babson head coach Michelle Smith. Maguire scored to make it 3-0, but Secrist answered 18 seconds later, controlling the draw and scoring unassisted to put the Beavers on the scoreboard.

Babson came back to tie it at 3-3, with Tucci one-timing a well-placed feed from Kiley Fischer in front of the Bates net.

The Beavers seized their first lead at 5-4 with a coast-to-coast drive and finish by Secrist, prompting Bates head coach Brett Allen to call timeout with 9:45 left in the first period.

Aly Dowey's lead pass to Shrewsbury set up a tying goal, and Bates regained the lead at 6-5 on Pierce's hop-stepping 8-meter shot with 4:25 left in the first.

Beatty found Gill over the top to tie it up at 6-6, but McCann answered 46 seconds later to regain the lead. Just 30 seconds after that, however, a looping shot by Beatty found its way past Bates sophomore goalie Hannah Jeffrey (Greenwich, Conn.) to make it 7-7. With the clock running out on the first period, Jeffrey stopped a point-blank shot by Beatty to preserve the tie at intermission.

A deft steal of a rolled ball by Baharestani by Greenstein led to Bates' go-ahead goal at 8-7, an unassisted tally by senior Bridget Meedzan (Ipswich, Mass.) 1:35 into the second frame. Seconds later, Bates' SooHee Yoon intercepted a Babson pass, quickly fed Pierce in Bates' defensive zone, and the Bobcat All-American was off to the races for a fast-break, unassisted tally and a 9-7 lead. 

Pierce then helped expand the lead to a game-high three goals, at 10-7, feeding Cappellini for the finish. Secrist interrupted Bates' 3-0 run with an unassisted tally with 26:53 to go, but a close-range goal by Greenstein, well set up by McCann, made it 11-8 and induced a Beaver timeout with 22:26 left in the game. Greenstein then delivered a perfect pass to Cappellini for Bates' first four-goal advantage at 12-8. Now firmly in control, Bates added goals by McCann and Greenstein to expand the lead to a commanding 14-8.

Secrist controlled the ensuing draw and rampaged down the field for another goal to close the gap to 14=9, but the Beavers couldn't gain any momentum, and both teams went through a nine-minute scoring drought. Bates ended the dry spell with a tally by junior Kathy Yannopoulos (Simsbury, Conn.), set up by Greenstein, to make it 15-9 with 9:55 to go.

Bates' four-game homestand comes to an end with a NESCAC road game at Trinity this Saturday at noon.