LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates men's soccer team controlled the second half of action but the No. 1 nationally ranked Amherst College Mammoths tallied a pair of goals in the first half to defeat the Bobcats 2-1 Saturday at Russell Street Field.
Amherst (12-0-2, 7-0-2 NESCAC) outshot Bates (8-5-1, 4-4-1 NESCAC) 9-1 in the first half before Bates flipped the script in the second half.
In the 18th minute, Amherst earned a corner kick. They quickly passed it inbounds to the right wing and delivered a floater to the back post. Bryce Johnson headed the ball to just outside the box and Kyle Kelly ripped a shot from straight on past the diving Bates keeper, putting the Mammoths up 1-0.
Ignacio Cubeddu came off the bench and added to the Amherst lead in the 34th minute. He received the ball near midfield and drove aggressively toward the net. Multiple Bates defenders tried to cut him off but Cubeddu weaved past them, eventually firing a shot from straight on just outside the box. It found the back left-corner of the net for the insurance tally.
It proved to be a very important goal because Bates dominated the second half. The Bobcats outshot the Mammoths 6-3 in the final 45 minutes and got on the scoreboard in the 69th minute.
Sophomore Charlie Cronin (South Portland, Maine) passed the ball from the left wing to the right wing. And sophomore Ciaran Bardong (Manhasset, N.Y.) passed it into the box where the ball found the foot of first-year Will Anastos (Norwell, Mass.). Anastos trapped the ball and quickly turned, ripping a shot past the Amherst keeper for the first goal of his collegiate career.
But the Mammoths held Bates to just two shots after the Anastos goal, holding off the Bobcats and remaining undefeated on the year.
Per usual, Bates and Amherst played a very physical contest, with 25 combined fouls called on the two teams, including a pair of yellow cards. Junior captain David Goodstein (Bethesda, Md.) made a pair of saves between the pipes for Bates and Bernie White recorded one save for Amherst.
Before the contest, Bates honored its senior class, which features Owen Lindenfeldar (Pennington, N.J.), Julien Williamson (Sandy, Utah), Peder Bakken (Seattle, Wash.), Austin Sansone (New York, N.Y.), Eric Opoku (Accra, Ghana), Liam Goldfarb (New York, N.Y.), Jared Reeber (Mount Kisco, N.Y.), Beaufils Kimpolo-Pene (Bronx, N.Y.) and Antonio Heredia (Elizabethtown, Pa.).
The Bobcats wrap up their regular season Tuesday when they visit Colby for a match that gets underway at 3pm. Bates is still fighting for seeding in the eight-team NESCAC Championships.