MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- Ben Potter converted a penalty kick in the 78th minute and the Middlebury College Panthers edged the Bates men's soccer team by a score of 1-0 Saturday afternoon.
Both teams had had chances minutes apart midway through the opening half with Bates (8-6, 3-6 NESCAC) getting the first one. First-year Charlie Cronin (South Portland, Maine) touched a shot wide of the right post for the Bobcats, before Middlebury's Potter volleyed a shot minutes later from in tight that senior goalkeeper Robbie Montanaro (Belmont, Mass.) collected.
The Panthers had another quality opportunity with 7:31 showing on the clock, as Raffi Barsamian fired a low shot that Montanaro made a diving save to his right to keep the game scoreless at the break.
In the second stanza, Bates had possession to start the new frame and junior captain Peder Bakken (Seattle, Wash.) fired a rising shot with only 12 seconds expired, forcing Panther goalie Matthew Hyer to punch it over the crossbar.
In the latter stages of the frame, a Panther was taken down inside the Bobcat restraining area, setting up Potter for a penalty kick. Potter directed a shot into the left side of the net for his team-leading fifth tally of the fall.
Hyer made one save for the hosts, recording his sixth shutout of the season, while Montanaro registered three stops for Bates.
The Panthers held a 15-8 advantage in shots, as well as a 6-2 edge in corner kicks.
Bates hosts Colby Wednesday in an 8:00 p.m. start. The Bobcats will need to achieve a draw or a victory over the Mules to qualify for the NESCAC tournament for the second straight season.
"It was a contrast of styles today," Bates head coach Tyler Sheikh said. "Middlebury made one more play. Nothing to do now but win our final regular season match."