Cappellini drew iron on a possible game-tying shot at halftime, but nothing but net on three second-half goals to lead Bates College’s nine-goal outburst in a 12-8 win over Wesleyan University in a New England Small College Athletic Conference women’s lacrosse clash Saturday at Garcelon Field.

Cappellini, a sophomore, finished with a game-high five goals and an assist. But it was the one that got away at the end of the first half that fueled her and the Bobcats to rally from a 4-3 halftime deficit.

Bates called a time out with 45 seconds left in the half to draw up a play for Cappellini, whose bid from five meters out hit the top left corner of the goal frame to preserved Wesleyan’s lead.

“That was a play that we set up. I unfortunately hit the pipe,” Cappellini said. “I think that’s what made me come out second half and made us get some of those shots off.”

Bates (3-1) scored the first four goals of the second half, with Capellini and Wally Pierce each converting twice, to take control of the contest.

“It was just a little bit better execution in the first half than the second half,” Bates coach Brett Allen said. “We were passing and catching a little bit better and finishing on our shots. We didn’t really change too much tactically.”

Sophomore Moriah Greenstein added to her team lead with six points (three goals, three assists) for the Bobcats. Senior captain Pierce added two goals and an assist and also had a career-high nine draw controls.

Maddy Coulter had three goals to lead Wesleyan (1-2), which is coached by Amanda Belichick, daughter of New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

Bates goalie Hannah Jeffrey saved eight of 16 shots, including several key stops in the second half.

Her first of the second half, a nice stick save to rob Liana Mathias (one goal, assist) preserved the one-goal deficit. Bates went to the other end and Blair Shrewsbury set up Pierce for the game-tying goal at 1:08.

It only took Cappellini 32 seconds to put the Bobcats on top to stay, with an assist from Bridget Meedzan (three assists). Thirty seconds later, Cappellini beat Cardinals keeper Nina Labovich (four saves) on a free position shot to make it 6-4 Bobcats.

“She played great,” Allen said of Cappellini. “She had a knee injury last year, so she couldn’t play at all. This is her first season and she’s done a nice job so far.”

“I was finding a lot of openings in the 8 meter (arc) right around the crease area,” said Cappellini, a 5-foot-9 midfielder from Manhasset, N.Y. “With the defense they were running, I was able to get open but it was definitely a team effort. If it wasn’t for people feeding me, it wouldn’t have been possible.”

The Cardinals threatened to cut into the lead when Shrewsbury drew the game’s first yellow card to put the Bobcats a player down 6:29 into the second half. But Jeffrey turned aside a Morgan Moubayed shot and Bates, staying patient on the counter, got a short-handed goal from Pierce to make it 7-4 with 21:42 left.

Wesleyan pulled to within two goals on a couple of occasions thereafter, but never got any closer. Greenstein and Kelan McCann each answered once to keep the Cardinals at bay.

Cappellini scored twice and Shrewsbury once to send Bates to a 3-1 lead in the first half, but Coulter, Moubayed and Abby D’Angelo scored the next three to put Wesleyan in front.

“We talked about three things before the game: winning draws, shooting well and limiting our turnovers on clears,” Allen said. “We won a lot of draws the whole game, but we didn’t shoot that well or take care of the ball well on clears in the first half. In the second half, we did all three very well.”

Bates won 16 of 22 draws for the game, 12 of 14 in the second half.


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