LEWISTON, Maine -- A long, low shot into the left corner of the net by Bates junior Peder Bakken in the 22nd minute made the difference as the Bobcats won their first NESCAC match of the season with a 1-0 victory over Wesleyan University on Saturday at Russell Street Field.
The winning play started back along Bates' endline, where sophomore defender Blaise Marceau (Newton, Mass.) intercepted a Wesleyan pass and slotted a pass ahead to first-year forward Charlie Cronin (South Portland, Maine).
Cronin took the ball in stride and carried from 10 yards behind midfield to the top of the Wesleyan penalty area. He then turned and left the ball behind for a charging Bakken (Seattle, Wash.), who fired from 25 yards out, past a clump of Wesleyan defenders, past sprawling Wesleyan goalkeeper Chris Franklin and just inside the left post. The goal was the sixth of the junior captain's career, and his second game-winner.
"We've deserved points prior to this game, but the NESCAC doesn't care about what a team deserves," said Bates head coach Tyler Sheikh.
Bates (3-2, 1-2 NESCAC) stays at home to face Williams on Sunday at 3pm. Wesleyan (2-3, 1-1 NESCAC) next plays host to Tufts on Wednesday at 7pm.
"I'm happy for the guys that they saw out the game against a game Wesleyan side," Sheikh said. "Now we prepare to fight for more points tomorrow and the rest of the season ahead."
The Bobcats outshot the Cardinals 3-0 in the first half and 6-3 in the second half, while Wesleyan had a 5-1 edge in corner kicks, including 4-0 in the second half.
Bates senior keeper Robbie Montanaro (Belmont, Mass.) made two saves in notching his third shutout and the ninth in his career.
Franklin made three saves for Wesleyan. JJ LaCorte took all three of Wesleyan's shots, putting two of them on goal.