LEWISTON, Maine -- Faced with a 2-0 deficit with under 19 minutes left in regulation, No. 19 nationally ranked Hamilton College pulled off a comeback 3-2 victory over the Bates College field hockey team on Saturday, as Tatiana Bradley scored the game-tying and game-winning goals.
The game was the season opener for Bates (0-1, 0-1 NESCAC), and the NESCAC opener for Hamilton (2-0, 1-0).
Following a scoreless first half that was largely controlled by Bates, the Bobcats broke the stalemate in the 42nd minute, then made it 2-0 two minutes later.
Anna Villamil's goal with 17:36 left in regulation closed the gap to 2-1. Bradley then scored in the 57th and 63rd minutes for the win.
Junior Grace Fitzgerald (Larchmont, N.Y.) scored the game-opening goal on a penalty corner in the 42nd minute, slapping a shot inside the right post from the top of the circle after junior Victoria McGee (Scarsdale, N.Y.) stopped the ball on senior Emma Patterson's (Denver, Colo.) insertion pass.
Bates made it 2-0 in the 44th minute, on a play beginning with a drive down the right wing by senior Taylor Lough (Little Compton, R.I.). Lough passed along the baseline to sophomore Bridget Tweedie (Brownfield, Maine), who sent a short pass to McGee. McGee lifted the ball over Hamilton goalie Julia Booth's reach and into the upper middle part of the goal.
But Hamilton, on its sixth penalty corner of the game, struck back to cut the gap in half. The ball was inserted to the top of the circle, then passed over to Keeley Duran on the right wing. Duran's hard outside shot was deflected halfway on its way to the goal by Villamil, redirecting the ball just enough to evade Bates senior goalie Adelae Durand (Cumberland, R.I.).
Hamilton then knotted the game at 2-2. On a restart after a Bates foul, Lizzie Clarke sent the ball straight up the middle, under a teammate's stick and bouncing to a waiting Bradley, 15 feet in front of the Bates goal. With her back to the goal, Bradley redirected the ball into the far right side of the goal.
With 7:12 left to go in the game, the Continentals took their first lead. Bradley advanced the ball up the left side, weaving past two Bates defenders and into Bates' half of the field. As she turned into the middle of the field, she passed ahead to Maddie Beitler cutting down the left side. Beitler skillfully backed her defender down into the circle before getting off a shot that was turned away by Durand. But a hustling Bradley was there to collect the rebound on the right side of the goal to knock in the game-winning score.
Bates plays at No. 15 Bowdoin Wednesday at 7pm.