Women's soccer blanks Middlebury, 2-0

Allison Hill, '17, made two critical defensive saves and contributed an assist as well in the victory. (Photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- Junior Allison Hill turned in a brilliant performance on offense and defense as the Bates women's soccer team shutout Middlebury by a score of 2-0 Saturday morning at Russell Street Field.

The victory clinched a berth in the eight-team NESCAC Championship tournament next weekend, the Bobcats' first since 2010.

Hill was everywhere for the Bobcats (6-5-3, 3-3-3) in their win over the Panthers (5-4-5, 3-3-3). She made two defensive saves and delivered an assist on the first goal of the game on a corner kick. 

"Allison only knows one work rate, and that's super high," head coach Kelsy Ross said. "What you saw there is a young lady who understands the game and puts herself in good positions." 

The game started slowly for the Bobcats as Middlebury seemed in control on offense in the early-going. Middlebury shot attempts in the 10th and 13th minutes hit the post. After that, the Bobcats made adjustments in the midfield and started to take control of the match.

In the 32nd minute Hill delivered a perfect corner kick that senior Karen Lockhart headed off a Middlebury defender for her second goal of the season to put Bates up 1-0. 

The Panthers made a push in the 42nd minute as Amanda Hotvedt beat keeper Sarah McCarthy and appeared to have a clear shot at the goal. But Hill was in perfect position and cleared the ball just as it was about to go in the net.

In the second half Middlebury managed seven shots but Bates' defense held in impressive fashion. Hill made another crucial defensive save in the 72nd minute to deny the Panthers a goal.

In the 83rd minute, first-year Olivia Amdur found senior Leah Humes for the second goal of the match. Humes' goal is her team-leading sixth of the season while Amdur's assist marks her team-high sixth of the year as well.

Over the last three matches the Bobcats have allowed a total of one goal. McCarthy tallied four saves to pick up the shutout.

The Bobcats finish their regular season schedule on Tuesday as they welcome rival Colby to town. The match gets started at 3:00 p.m. at Russell Street Field.