Bakken named to All-NESCAC men's soccer team

Second team All-NESCAC selection Peder Bakken tallied a team-leading 11 points in 2018 for the Bates men's soccer team. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

HADLEY, Mass. -- Bates College junior captain Peder Bakken was named Second Team All-NESCAC on Thursday, as the New England Small College Athletic Conference released its all-conference teams in men's soccer.

Bakken (Seattle, Wash.) led the Bobcats in points this season with 11, scoring a team-high four goals and finishing tied for the team lead in assists with three. He proved to be a very clutch player for the Bobcats, scoring three game-winning goals, including the lone tally in Bates' 1-0 win over Wesleyan and an overtime score in the Bobcats' 2-1 victory at Trinity. Bakken finished 11th in the conference in goals scored but tied for second in game-winning goals. 

"Peder's importance to this program goes beyond his work on the field," head coach Tyler Sheikh said. "It's nice that other coaches recognized what we already know, he's one of the best midfielders in the country." 

Through his first three seasons as a Bobcat, Bakken has nine goals and eight assists. The junior midfielder has played in all but one match so far in his career. He helped lead the Bobcats to their second straight winning season this year, as Bates finished with an overall record of 8-7. This is the first time the men's soccer team has posted back-to-back winning seasons since 2005-06. 

This also marks the second straight year the Bobcats have had representation on the All-NESCAC teams, the first time that's been accomplished by the men's soccer program since 2011-12. In 2017, Nate Merchant '18 was named to the first team and Max Watson '18 earned a spot on the second team. This is the first All-NESCAC honor of Bakken's career. 

"Next season we'll work hard to have more individuals honored," Sheikh said. "It's great that this team is full of characters that know the most important things are team honors."