LEWISTON, ME – Leading 1-0 at halftime, Saint Joseph's (1-3-1) allowed three unanswered goals over the closing 45 minutes en route to suffering a 3-1 loss to Bates College (1-1-0) in a non-conference men's soccer match on Tuesday evening.
Bates rallied from a 1-0 deficit with a trio of tallies in quick succession, as the host-Bobcats netted all three of their goals in the opening 15:20 of the second half to earn the victory in the side's 2012 home-opener.
Bates controlled play for most of the first half and outshot the Monks by a 9-4 margin, but St. Joe's came away with the halftime lead thanks to senior Teddy Palmer's (Scarborough, Maine) first goal of the season. Palmer headed in a beautiful corner kick delivered by junior Garrett Darnell (Gray, Maine) in the 16th minute of the contest.
Bates ramped up the intensity for a 15-4 edge in shots in the second half, and the Bobcats evened the game less than two minutes after intermission. After a Monks foul, senior captain John Murphy (Yarmouth, Maine) sent a free kick from near half-field to the right side of the St. Joe's box, where sophomore Tyler Schleich (Santa Barbara, Calif.) fought off two SJC defenders to gain possession and get off a laser shot that passed in front of Monks junior goalkeeper Kenny Grade (Hampton, N.H.) and into the side netting on the far side.
Murphy notched the game-winning goal in the 58th minute, warding off two defenders on the left side of the box before the left-footed midfielder sent a low, right-footed shot under the reach of Grade, whose sight of the shot appeared to be blocked for a 2-1 Bates lead.
Less than three minutes later, Bates senior Ethan Hirshberg (Concord, N.H.) guided another laser shot much like Schleich's after taking a feed from sophomore Jonathan Lin (Natick, Mass.) in the right side of the box.
Grade made seven saves in the game. Bates first-year goalie Sam Polito (Far Hills, N.J.) got the start and made one save. First-year Zach Shabman (Scarsdale, N.Y.) played the final 15 minutes in net for Bates.
With the loss, St. Joe's falls to 0-11 in the history of the series with Bates College. The Monks had not faced the Bobcats since the 2005 campaign prior to this evening's match-up. Bates is the only side the Monks have played 10 or more games against without a victory in the 23-year history of men's soccer program.
Saint Joseph's has little time to regroup, as the Royal Blue resumes play on Thursday with a GNAC contest at Albertus Magnus College, the top seed in the 2011 conference tourney and GNAC Preseason Poll favorite. Kick-off is scheduled for 4:00 PM. Bates hosts a pair of NESCAC games this weekend, with Amherst College visiting on Saturday at 2:00 PM followed by a 2:00 PM match versus Trinity College on Sunday.
MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS PROVIDED BY BATES COLLEGE SPORTS INFORMATION