Hamilton edges men's soccer 1-0 in defensive struggle

Robbie Montanaro and the Bates defense held Hamilton to just three shots in a 1-0 loss on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018 at Garcelon Field. (Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates men's soccer team held Hamilton to just three shots but the Continentals defeated the Bobcats 1-0 Saturday afternoon on Russell Street Field. 

Bates (1-1, 0-1 NESCAC) outshot Hamilton (1-1, 1-0 NESCAC) by a count of 13-3. Despite their big advantage in shots, only one Bates attempt forced Hamilton keeper Linds Cadwell to make a save. 

And in the 13th minute, the Continentals got the only goal they needed. Greg Milnarik executed a perfect slide tackle near midfield to take the ball away from the Bobcats. He passed the ball to Jefri Schmidt who booted it ahead to Aidan Wood. Wood drove the ball down the field against two Bates defenders. He got some space and went top shelf from 15 yards out to put Hamilton up 1-0. 

"Hats off to Coach Nizzi and his troops as they made a play and we didn't," Bates head coach Tyler Sheikh said. "It wasn't the introduction I would have liked to the NESCAC, but we are proud that our guys never stopped running in search of the equalizer they were probably due."

Junior Eric Opoku (Accra, Ghana) paced the Bobcats on offense, recording four shots, including a few that missed just a little wide of the net. He had an especially good look in the 46th minute that sailed to the right. That came shortly after senior Morgan Dewdney (Meriden, N.H.) forced Cadwell to make his only save of the night, on a finesse shot that was nearly chased down by teammate junior Beaufils Kimpolo-Pene (Bronx, N.Y.) in the box. 

It marked the second close call for Dewdney. In the first half, he headed a ball that went just high of the net in the 15th minute. A header from junior captain Peder Bakken (Seattle, Wash.) in the 33rd minute also just missed the mark.

The Bobcats look to get back on the winning track Tuesday night when they visit the University of New England for a 7:30pm match.    

"Tuesday night needs to be a bounce-back contest for us as we continue to grow as a team," said Sheikh.