Men's soccer falls 3-0 at No. 4 Tufts in NESCAC quarterfinals

Sophmore Eric Opoku and the Bates men's soccer team fell 3-0 to No. 4 nationally ranked Tufts on Saturday, October 28, 2017 in the NESCAC quarterfinals. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)  

MEDFORD, Mass. – The Bates men's soccer team fell in the NESCAC quarterfinals to No. 4 nationally ranked Tufts by a score of 3-0 Saturday afternoon.

Tufts' first goal came during the first real chance of the match for either side when Sterling Weatherbie headed one in off a bounce in the 21st minute. Conor Coleman and Travis Van Brewer were both credited with an assist on the play. The Jumbos (13-1-2) came in as the number one overall seed in the NESCAC tournament. The Bobcats (8-6-2) were the eighth seed and making their first NESCAC tournament appearance since 2010. Bates posted three conference wins during the regular season, their most in one year since they won four conference matches in 2008. 

The Jumbos added to their lead in the 67th minute when Zach Lane was fouled inside the box resulting in a penalty kick. Coleman drilled it into the top right corner to take a 2-0 lead.

The final goal of the match came in the 69th minute when Brett Rojas was deep in the left corner of Bates' territory. He was able to get a pass off to teammate Calvin Aroh who was waiting right in front of goal. He headed it home to cap the scoring.

The Bobcats had a few chances, the best of which came in the 38th minute when sophomore Antonio Heredia (Elizabethtown, Pa.) sent a free kick in from just passed half field that Tufts keeper Conner Mieth had to jump for, it slipped through his fingers and bounced just left of the Jumbo net.

In total, Bates would get off five shots but were never able to put one on goal. Sophomore Peder Bakken (Seattle, Wash.) paced the Bobcats with two shots. Tufts took 21 shots, eight on goal. Junior Robbie Montanaro (Belmont, Mass.) made five saves between the pipes for Bates. The Bobcats were called for 15 fouls and two yellow cards while Tufts accumulated 13 fouls. 

This is the first time that this group of seniors on Tufts has won a NESCAC playoff game. While they have two NCAA championships, this is the first time they have advanced out of the NESCAC quarterfinals.

Tufts advances to play Hamilton in the NESCAC semifinals. The Bobcats' overall record of 8-6-2 is their most wins in one season since the 2008 team went 9-6.