LEWISTON, Maine -- Sophomore Beaufils Kimpolo-Pene scored his third goal of the season to give the Bates men's soccer team an early 1-0 lead over No. 9 nationally ranked Amherst but the Mammoths rallied to defeat the Bobcats 2-1 Sunday afternoon at Russell Street Field.
Sunday's match proved to be quite even, with Bates (5-5-2, 1-5-2 NESCAC) out-shooting the Mammoths (7-2-2, 4-2-2 NESCAC) by a count of 18-17.
In the 27th minute, the Bobcats earned a corner kick. Senior Justin Yacovino (North Bergen, N.J.) took the corner and junior Drew Munoz (Dallas, Texas) got the ball to sophomore Peder Bakken (Seattle, Wash.), who proceeded to head it to Kimpolo-Pene (Bronx, N.Y.) and the sophomore striker did the rest, burying the ball in the back of the net, putting the Bobcats up 1-0.
But the Mammoths responded in the 32nd minute, when Bijan Zojaji connected with Kieran Bellew, who drove toward the left post and unleashed a shot that found the back right corner of the net for the equalizer and his second goal of the year.
The match remained tied until the 66th minute. That's when Sebastian Derby found Aziz Khan for Khan's first goal of the season. He too found success with a shot across the net that ended up in the opposite corner of the goal, putting the Mammoths up 2-1.
Bates had a couple of good chances to even the score. In the 70th minute, junior Ben Lyons (San Rafael, Calif.) had a clean look from 15 yards out but missed high on a shot.
In the 79th minute, it appeared Bakken had tied things up after he cleaned up a shot from senior Nate Merchant (Los Angeles, Calif.) that the Mammoths blocked. However, the line judge called Bakken offside and the goal was nullified.
Bates continued to push hard, with Kimpolo-Pene getting a foot on a ball that the Amherst keeper smothered in the 86th minute and Merchant getting a shot blocked in the 88th minute.
The Bobcats' last chance to tie the match came with two seconds left in regulation when Kimpolo-Pene's header missed just wide of the mark.
Kimpolo-Pene, Merchant and sophomore Eric Opoku (Accra, Ghana) paced Bates with three shots apiece. Bellew led the Mammoths with three shots of his own.
Junior Robbie Montanaro (Belmont, Mass.) made five saves between the pipes for Bates while Amherst's Michael Stone made six saves for the Mammoths.
The Bobcats are back in action this Wednesday when they travel to Fisher College. The match gets underway at 5:00 p.m.