LEWISTON, Maine -- Emma Banks scored less than two minutes into overtime to send No. 18 nationally ranked Colby to an 8-7 victory over the Bates women's lacrosse team in the rivals' regular-season finale Wednesday at Garcelon Field.
Colby's (9-6, 4-6 NESCAC) victory clinched a berth in the eight-team NESCAC Championship playoffs and ended Bates' chance for the same. The Bobcats finish the season with a 7-8 overall record, 2-8 in NESCAC play.
Sasha Fritts scored three times for the Mules and Banks added two goals. Melinda Edie and Kelsey Otley caused three turnovers apiece to pace Colby's defensive effort.
For Bates, senior Teal Otley (Cumberland, Maine) scored three times, sophomore Liv Sandford (Kennebunk, Maine) added two goals and junior Katie Allard (Ridgewood, N.J.) notched three assists. Senior Allison Dewey (Vergennes, Vt.) collected a game-high six draw controls to go with three ground balls and the goal that sent the game into overtime in the final minute of regulation.
Colby dominated the first half and produced a 4-1 lead at intermission to show for it. Fritts scored on a pair of bounce shotsin the game's first 62 seconds, and Kendall Smith made it 3-0 inside the first five minutes. Otley closed the gap to 3-1 with a free-position goal shot from an extreme angle on the left side, before Banks returned the three-goal lead to the Mules with 19:46 to go in the half. With unrelenting rain playing a factor, neither team scored in the final 19 minutes of the half.
The Bobcats began the second half like a new team, beginning with a pair of goals by Sandford. She finished a pass down the left lane from senior Camille Belletete (Jaffrey, N.H.) and finished from a tight angle with 28:26 to go, then closed the gap to 4-3 at the 26:13 mark, with Allard finding her open in front from behind Colby net.
Fifty-eight seconds later the game was tied at 4-4, with Otley batting in a nice inside feed from junior Sydney Howard (Ashland, Mass.). Then with 24:02 left in the game, Bates took its first and only lead, as Otley tallied her third score on another bang-bang play, assisted from behind goal-line extended by Allard.
The teams swapped seven straight turnovers before the game's next shot was attempted, and it was Colby's Bridget Horwood driving in from behind the right goal-line extended to tie the game at 5-5 with 18:52 left in regulation.
Fritts then put Colby back in the lead with 15:20 to go, scoring from a tight angle off the right post. But Bates knotted the game back up at 6-6 with 13:12 left, as an open lane down the middle opened up for Summer Dias, who shot it in over the keeper's shoulder.
Colby responded with another go-ahead goal, on one of the game's more spectacular plays, as first-year Grace Langmuir drove from the left side into the middle, turned and swung her stick behind her legs, whipping the ball past a suddenly defenseless Statile.
With 2:15 left in the game, Statile stopped a free-position shot by Fritts. Bates cleared the ball and after a wide shot by Belletete, Dewey ripped in the final goal of her career with 42.6 seconds left in the game, for the fourth game-tying goal of the half. Maddie Hatch won the ensuing draw for Colby, and after a timeout with 21 seconds left, the Mules set up a shot by Banks with three seconds remaining that sailed wide, sending the game into sudden-victory overtime.
Belletete won the opening draw of overtime for Bates, but the Bobcats turned the ball over for the 25th time in the game less than a minute later before attempting a shot. Colby cleared the ball and with 4:16 left in overtime, Banks weaved into the front of the Bates goal and scored to end the game.
Izzy Scribano started in goal for Colby, making two saves and allowing five goals in 36 minutes. Hannah Marino came on with Bates leading 5-4 and kept goal for the rest of the game, earning the victory with one save against two goals allowed.
Statile made 11 saves against eight goals allowed for the Bobcats, who were outshot by a 29-16 margin in the game, including a 19-5 difference in the first half.