No. 15 field hockey wins NESCAC thriller against Bates

Sarah Pierpont '21 (Josh McKee photo)
Sarah Pierpont '21 (Josh McKee photo)

Hamilton College's Sarah Pierpont '21 scored with 4:48 left in the first sudden-victory overtime period and lifted the nationally ranked No. 15 Continentals to a 3-2 NESCAC win against the Bates College Bobcats at Hamilton's Goodfriend Field on Saturday afternoon.

Pierpont finished with two goals and an assist in just her second collegiate game and her first start for the Continentals. Julia Booth '19 made four saves. Hamilton (2-0, 1-0 NESCAC) has won five out of the seven all-time meetings with Bates.

Adelae Durand stopped four shots for the Bobcats, who were playing their season opener. Bates stays in Clinton for a non-conference game against No. 12 Montclair State University at Goodfriend Field on Sunday, Sept. 10 at 1 p.m.

Pierpont's goal followed the lone penalty corner of overtime. She inserted the ball to Aly Skelly '18, who dribbled the ball towards the goal and took a shot that deflected off the stick of a Bobcat defender. The ball popped up and Pierpont batted it out of the air and into the back of the cage from the left post.

The Continentals took all four shots in the extra period. A little more than halfway through overtime, Michaela Giuttari '20 received a pass and broke in alone on goal. Durand ran out to stop her but Giuttari eluded the diving goalie and seemed to have a clear path to the goal until defender Samantha Reiss appeared at the left post and knocked her backhand shot across the end line. About a minute later, Durand turned away another shot by Pierpont.

Bates had a 2-1 lead and seemed to have control of the game with 6:32 remaining in regulation when Hamilton was down two players due to a green card on forward Sarah Stinebaugh '19 and a yellow card on Giuttari -- another forward. The Continentals had one last rally left in them after Stinebaugh returned to the field. Pierpont dribbled the ball into the circle from the left side and centered it to Stinebaugh who swept a shot into the right side of the cage with 1:28 to go. The ball hit a Bobcat stick on its way towards the goal but had enough power behind it to make it across the goal line. Stinebaugh's goal was the seventh of her Hamilton career.

The Continentals grabbed a 1-0 lead just 71 seconds into the first half when Giuttari, who leads the team with seven points, passed to Pierpont near the left post for a one-timer from close range. Hamilton took the one-goal lead into the break.

Bates got on the scoreboard with 22:17 left in the second half when a long pass into the circle by Caroline O'Reilly found Ally Leahy near the penalty stroke dot. Leahy collected the pass in a crowd, turned and fired the ball into the cage. The Bobcats went in front a little more than seven minutes later following a Bates penalty corner. Booth stopped a shot by Jessie Moriarty but Taylor Lough controlled the loose ball and passed to Victoria McGee for the goal.

The Continentals take to the road for the first time this season for a non-conference game at Skidmore College on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 4:30 p.m.