LEWISTON, Maine --- Colby College netted three goals in the opening 15 minutes and built a 4-0 lead before holding off Bates College's second-half rally for a 4-3 NESCAC field hockey victory Wednesday night at Campus Avenue Field.
Megan Fortier scored two goals for Colby (6-8, 2-8 NESCAC), which received all of its scoring from first-year players. Misha Strage and Ellie Donohue also scored.
For Bates (4-10, 1-9 NESCAC), Caroline Falcone, Riley Kundtz and Lexie Carter all scored in a four-minute span of the second half.
Just over five minutes into the game, at the 5:25 mark, Bates goalkeeper Cristina Vega saved an initial shot by Fortier, but Strage was there to put away the rebound.
With 27:07 left in the half, Fortier scored one herself, jabbing a shot from along the left baseline that jumped off a Bates stick and into the air, volleying high over Vega's head and hitting the right interior of the goal for a 2-0 lead.
Less than six minutes later, with 21:30 left in the half, the lead expanded to 3-0 after an excellent individual play by Fortier. From the top of the circle, the first-year backed into her defender, twice switching directions, before turning and shooting from 10 yards out through Bates' defense and past Vega.
Colby tacked on another score with 17:20 left in the second half, as first-year Donohue finished off a team offensive push with a shot from a tough angle that hit a stick or two before finding its way to the back of the cage. Colby seemed comfortably in the lead at 4-0 with 17 minutes to play.
But Bates got on the scoreboard with 12:23 left in the game, when Falcone had a clear shot from the center of the circle and cracked it into the back of the cage.
With 10:37 left, Bates finished off another offensive surge. Polly Merck recovered a loose ball on the left side of the circle and drove baseline. Her shot glanced off a Colby defender and out to Kundtz, who swatted in a looping shot past Colby goalkeeper Michelle Burt to close the gap to 4-2.
Just 2:10 later, with 8:27 left in the game, Bates closed the gap to 4-3 on a penalty corner. Merck started the play, inserting the ball to Bridget Meedzan, who stick-stopped the ball for Lexie Carter's rocket of a shot from the top of the circle.
Bates' final flurry, including a penalty corner with 55 seconds left, passed with no further shots attempted.
Colby outshot Bates 8-6 in the first half, but Bates turned the table in the second half with a 6-3 edge. Penalty corners were 5-4 in Bates' favor.
Burt finished with three saves for Colby; Vega made one save and Katie Knox, who played the final 56:30 in goal for Bates, also made one save.
Colby 4, Bates 3
Colby............... 3 1 - 4
Bates............... 0 3 - 3
1. 5:25 COLFH12 Misha Strage (unassisted)
2. 7:53 COLFH12 Megan Fortier (unassisted)
3. 13:30 COLFH12 Megan Fortier (unassisted)
4. 52:40 COLFH12 Ellie Donohue (unassisted)
5. 57:37 BAT Caroline Falcone (unassisted)
6. 59:23 BAT Riley Kundtz (unassisted)
7. 61:33 BAT Lexie Carter (Polly Merck;Bridget Meedzan) - Penalty corner
Shots: Colby 11, Bates 12; Saves: Colby 3 (Michelle Burt 3), Bates 2 (Cristina Vega 1; Katie Knox