LEWISTON, Maine -- After rising to its highest-ever national ranking earlier in the day, the No. 14 Bates field hockey team defeated Husson 5-1 Tuesday night at Campus Avenue Field to raise their record to 5-1.
Bates won its fourth straight game and dealt Husson (3-3) its first loss in four contests. The Bobcats presented a constant threat to score, outshooting the Eagles by a 26-2 margin and earned a 9-2 advantage in penalty corners.
Bates wasted no time in taking the lead, scoring on the first penalty corner of the game, which was called in the first minute. Sophomore Riley Burns' (Sterling, Mass.) blast from the top, assisted by senior Grace Fitzgerald (Larchmont, N.Y.) on the entry ball and sophomore Bridget Thompson (Newtown, Pa.) on the stop, made it 1-0 just over a minute into the game.
Bates struck again with 3:52 left in the first quarter, with six players touching the ball on the play. Fitzgerald inserted to Thompson for the stop at the top. First-year Paige Cote (Auburn, Maine) passed over to Burns on the left wing, who fired at the goal. First-year Sarah Bussell (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) tipped the ball on its way toward the right post, and senior Victoria McGee (Scarsdale, N.Y.) finished it off on an open goal for her first tally of the season.
With 9:50 to go in the second quarter, Thompson redirected Burns' shot from the left to make it 3-0 in the hosts' favor. Thompson's third goal of the season lifted her into a tie with Burns and junior Emily Gianunzio (Darien, Conn.) for the team lead, despite only attempting six shots.
Fitzgerald scored her first goal of the season with 6:48 left in the second quarter to make it 4-0. Thompson recovered a free ball near midfield and passed ahead to the senior captain, who carried the ball into the circle unmarked and fired inside the right post.
Husson cut into the lead midway through the third quarter, as Karen Stemm made a run down the left wing of Bates' circle and fired toward the goal. Adelle Foss got her stick under the ball and lifted it past Bates goalie Grace Biddle (State College, Pa.) and inside the far right post for the score.
Bates regained the four-goal lead with 11:35 to go in the fourth quarter, as first-year Kami Lambert (Augusta, Maine) finished off a barrage of shots on Husson keeper Kimmie Goddard by knocking in the rebound after a save on Gianunzio's shot. The play was set up by Cote's advance toward the circle and her nice diagonal lead pass to Lambert on the left.
Bates will remain home Saturday at noon to host No. 5 Tufts, their highest-ranked opponent so far this season. Husson will host New England College Saturday at 1pm.