LEWISTON, Maine – The No. 18-nationally ranked Wesleyan University women's lacrosse team pulled away from a 6-6 tie with 11 minutes remaining to defeat Bates College, 9-7, in a NESCAC game played Saturday at Garcelon Field.
Wesleyan (3-0, 2-0) received three goals from Julia Gretsky '20, including two in the final 11 minutes. Abby Manning '20 contributed two goals and an assist, and Abigail Horst '19 added two goals, two caused turnovers and four ground balls.
Annie Duke led Bates (3-2, 0-2 NESCAC) with three goals and Teal Otley added two. Junior attack Katie Allard led all players with three caused turnovers.
- Nine of the game's 16 goals were scored on free-position opportunities, with both teams' defenses effectively limiting the opposition's scoring opportunities.
- Caitlin Wood '19 got Wesleyan on the board first with 26:01 to go, tucking a free-position shot from the left wing low and inside the far post.
- Bates sophomore Avery MacMullen drew a foul whistled against Wesleyan goalie Allegra Grant '20 at the 24:13 mark, allowing MacMullen a rare open-net free-position attempt, which she duly converted to tie the game at 1-1.
- Bates kept it tied when goalie Eliza Statile stopped a Wood free-position shot, then saved a follow by Manning around the 18:00 mark.
- Statile intercepted a Wesleyan pass to set up a go-ahead goal by Duke, who took advantage of a 1-on-1 with a dodge and a shot from the left wing, giving Bates its first lead at 2-1, interrupting a scoreless stretch of 18 minutes.
- Statile and Grant traded saves before Duke scored with Bates in transition, as Camille Belletete found her in an open spot in the middle of Wesleyan's defensive zone, where she dodged and shot again for a 3-1 Bates lead.
- The Cardinals responded with two goals in the final 40 seconds of the half to tie the game at 3-3 at intermission. Manning scored with 39.4 seconds to go in the period, finishing a left-to-right sweep through the Bates defense by setting up an open right-handed shot. With 11 seconds to go, Horst drew a Bates foul and converted the 8-meter shot for the tie.
- The Bobcats retook the lead with the first goal of the second half, a free-position score by Liv Sandford, as Grant stopped the shot initially before the ball dribbled over the line.
- Gretsky tied the game again at 4-4, finishing a strong wrap-around move and earning shooting space in front. Horst won the ensuing draw and was soon fouled, giving her a free-position shot that put Wesleyan ahead 5-4.
- The Cardinals got their first two-goal lead of the game with 20:18 remaining, with Manning feeding Julia Black '18 with the only assist in the game, prompting a Bates timeout.
- However, Bates fought back to tie the game at 6-6 with back-to-back free-position goals by Duke and Otley. Duke's third goal of the game, delivered with an overhead shot into the top of the net, was set up by an Allard caused turnover.
- Wesleyan then mounted its second three-goal run of the game to seize control in the final 11 minutes.
- Amy Breitfeller '19 caused a Bates turnover that led to Gretsky's first free-position goal, which put Wesleyan ahead for good at 7-6 with 10:46 left. Forty-four seconds later, after Wesleyan's Indigo Pellegrini de Paur '21 won the draw, Manning finished off a 1-on-1 move from off the left post to make it 8-6. Gretsky then tallied her third goal with 7:52 remaining, backing down her defender, faking left and pivoting to her right to free up an open shot.
- Grant came up with four saves over the final 7:17 of regulation time, including on free-position shots by Sydney Howard and Allison Dewey. Otley scored her second free-position goal on three attempts with 43.5 seconds left in the game, but Wesleyan's Breanna Cavanaugh '19 won the ensuing draw and Wesleyan ran out the rest of the game clock.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Statile and Grant came up with 10 saves apiece.
- Bates won 11 of 18 draws but Wesleyan won 18 of 29 ground balls in the game.
- Wesleyan is back in action Wednesday, March 14 and remains on the road for a 1 p.m. non-conference matchup against TCNJ.
< Recap courtesy of Bates Athletic Communications >