MEDFORD – Third-ranked Tufts downed conference opponent Bates with a 1-0 OT victory at Bello Field on Saturday. Senior back Sterling Weatherbie found the ball on his foot after it was bouncing around in a scrum off a corner and put it in the back of the net in the 95th minute.
|Jumbo back Sterling Weatherbie netted the game winner in OT|
Tufts (4-0, 2-0 NESCAC) had a great scoring opportunity early in the first minute of the contest, but Bobcat goalkeeper Robbie Montanaro came out and made a great diving save on a left-footed boot by sophomore Travis Van Brewer. The Jumbos then had another opportunity stopped by Montanaro on a strike by sophomore forward Mati Cano in the 10th.
Tufts controlled the pace of the game early, but Bates stood their ground. The Bobcats (2-2, 0-2 NESCAC) would settle in and held the Jumbos without a shot attempt for 18 minutes during one stretch while generating two shot attempts. The Jumbos generated another quality look in the 43rd minute as freshman midfielder Aidan Welsh had a header just barely soar over the net to the right.
In the first half, the Jumbos outshot the Bobcats 10-2. Bates' Montanaro had two massive stops to keep the score even. Tufts generated five corner kick opportunities to the Bates' one. Both teams' defenses came up big in the first half and set the tone. Neither team for the final 30 minutes of the half were able to get quality looks at the goal.
The second half started with multiple fouls called on both teams as each was looking to strike early. Bates generated their best opportunity of the game with a shot by midfielder Ben Lyons that was stopped by Jumbo goaltender Conner Mieth. The Jumbos had their best opportunities of the half in the 61st minute when junior midfielder Gavin Tasker had Montanaro beat and shot the ball off his right foot, but the Bobcats made a phenomenal save getting to the ball before it went in the net. Tasker got the ball back for another attempt that was denied by Montanaro.
For the next 20 minutes, the tempo was quick, but neither team could pull ahead. In the 83rd minute, Cano made a nice move with the ball, but was stopped once again by Montanaro. In the 87th, Bobcats midfielder Peder Bakken had a chance go a few inches left of the net to keep things even.
At the end of regulation, the Jumbos had spent more time in the Bobcats' end of the field, but couldn't put it past Montanaro. The Jumbos outshot the Bobcats in the second half eight (three on goal) to three (one on goal). The Bobcats committed 11 fouls to the Jumbos' seven. Tufts generated nine corners in regulation to Bates' two.
Weatherbie of the Jumbos scored the electrifying game-winner in the 95th minute, leading the Jumbos to victory and the team rushing on to the field with pure excitement on their faces.
The Jumbos for the game outshot the Bobcats 20-5.Montanaro led the game with five saves, but fell to 2-2 in net on the season. Tufts' goaltender Mieth improved to 4-0 in net with one save. The Jumbos generated 11 corner kicks to the Bobcats' two.
The defense and goaltender Mieth continue to impress having not allowed a goal in the first four contests. This is the second win for the Jumbos in the NESCAC, and both have been overtime wins.
Tufts' next contest will be tomorrow when they travel to Wheaton for a non-conference kickoff starting at 2:30 pm. Bates' next match will be Saturday when they host conference opponent Wesleyan.
Written By Athletic Communications Intern Bryan Costello