Alexander’s OT goal lifts Bates women into NESCAC championship
Bates junior Kim Alexander added to her league-leading goal total at the perfect time, scoring the game-winner in the last minute of overtime to catapult the Bobcats into Sunday’s championship game.
SOMERVILLE, Mass. — Junior Kim Alexander (Cumberland, Maine) scored her conference-leading 12th goal of the season with 45 seconds left in the first overtime to give Bates College a dramatic 1-0 victory over Bowdoin College in the NESCAC women’s soccer tournament semifinals on Saturday afternoon at Tufts University.
The Bobcats (12-3-1) will play the host Jumbos, who defeated Colby 2-1 in the other semifinal, for the conference championship on Sunday at noon. It is the second appearance in the championship game for both teams: Bates was runner-up in 2003, and Tufts won the 2002 title. The Jumbos prevailed 2-1 in double overtime in the teams’ previous meeting this season, on Oct. 1 in Lewiston.
With an entertaining 0-0 game nearing the end of the first overtime, Bates junior Jessie Gargiulo (Boxborough, Mass.) set up Alexander at the top of the Bowdoin penalty box. She slotted the ball past Bowdoin keeper Anna Shapell (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) into the net at the far post, causing the Bobcat bench to rush on to the field in celebration of the win.
The goal ended a match during which much of regulation was back-and-forth, with neither side able to capitalize on opportunities that might have been dangerous. Both keepers played aggressively and fumbled balls on occasion as a result, but neither offense could capitalize. The Bobcats finished with a slight edge in play, taking 12 shots to seven for Bowdoin and earning five corners to two for the Polar Bears.
The best opportunity in the first half came for Bates, when Gargiulo went in on a breakaway, but struck the ball just wide. Shapell was sharp in goal for Bowdoin in the second half as the Bobcats had the possession advantage. She made the save of the day in the 57th minute when she tipped a corner kick headed on goal by Bates’ Meg Coffin (Westford, Mass.) over the crossbar.
Five minutes into overtime, Gargiulo — who finished with a game-high five shots — fired one from outside the box that went just wide right. Less than five minutes later, Alexander won it.
Shapell was credited with three saves in the losing effort, while Bates sophomore Nini Spalding (San Francisco) had two stops.
Bowdoin (10-5-1) 0 0 0 — 0
Bates (12-3-1) 0 0 1 — 1
Bates — Kim Alexander (Jessie Gargiulo), 99:00.
Goalkeeping: Bowdoin, Anna Shapell (99:00 – 1 GA) 3 saves; Bates, Nini Spalding (99:00 – 0 GA) 2 saves.
Shots: Bowdoin, 7; Bates, 12.
Corner Kicks: Bowdoin, 2; Bates, 5.