BABSON PARK, Mass. -- Junior captain Grace Fitzgerald scored the game-winning goal for the second straight season and the Bates field hockey team continued its remarkable hold over No. 5 nationally ranked Babson, defeating the Beavers 3-2 in overtime Wednesday night.
Bates (2-5) has now defeated Babson (7-3) six consecutive times. The last four wins have come with the Beavers ranked as one of the top 10 teams in the nation. The Bobcats knocked off No. 9 Babson 1-0 in 2015, defeated No. 8 Babson 3-2 in overtime in 2016 and took down the No. 2 nationally ranked Beavers 2-1 in overtime last year, with Fitzgerald (Larchmont, N.Y.) scoring the game-winner.
On Wednesday, the Bobcats outshot the Beavers by a count of 12-8, including 3-0 in overtime. In the 78th minute, the Bobcats earned a penalty corner. Senior Emma Patterson (Denver, Colo.) took the corner and fed it to Fitzgerald on the near side. Fitzgerald took a few steps to her right and fired a long shot on goal. It found the back of the left side of the cage for her fourth goal of the season and the second game-winner of her career.
Babson struck first in this year's contest. In the fifth minute, Ashley Tango fired a ball into the offensive zone that Tori Roche was able to just get her stick on, deflecting into the back of the cage to put the Beavers up 1-0.
Neither team scored for the remainder of the first half, giving Babson a 1-0 lead headed into halftime, despite Bates holding a 5-3 edge in shots.
In the 41st minute, the Bobcats tied the game at one. Off a foul, Fitzgerald passed the ball to senior Taylor Lough (Little Compton, R.I.) and Lough drove toward the end line. While on the run Lough delivered a remarkable shot when she almost even with the goal. Somehow, it snuck in for the equalizer.
Then less than a minute later, Bates took the lead. Fitzgerald hit the ball ahead into the offensive zone where Lough tracked it down. After an initial cross attempt was deflected, she got the ball back and centered it perfectly to first-year Bridget Thompson (Newtown, Pa.) and she went top shelf to put the Bobcats ahead 2-1.
Babson evened the score at two in the 48th minute. After a Bates foul, Catherine Gilman fired an entry feed while on the run that Quinn Greer deflected in past the Bates keeper.
Regulation ended with the game tied at two. Bates dominated the overtime period with a group featuring junior Victoria McGee (Scarsdale, N.Y.), Lough, Patterson, senior captain Shelbie McCormack (Tyngsborough, Mass.), junior Alexa Jurgeleit (Barrington, R.I.), Fitzgerald and senior goalkeeper Adelae Durand (Cumberland, R.I.).
Durand made five saves on the evening to pick up the win in goal for Bates.
Bates returns to NESCAC action this Saturday when the Bobcats visit Trinity for a match that gets underway at 11am.