|Bates College||Tufts University|
MEDFORD – In a wild game between two of the top three teams in the USILA national poll, the second-ranked Bates College men’s lacrosse remained undefeated by holding off #3 Tufts University, 19-18, in NESCAC action Tuesday night at Bello Field.
Bates (11-0, 8-0 NESCAC) led for the entire game, but had to defend a Tufts possession in the final 28 seconds while up by one. The Bobcats did not let the Jumbos get a shot before the horn blew for a dramatic victory.
Trailing 16-9 halfway through the third quarter, Tufts (11-2, 6-2 NESCAC) twice made it a one-goal game in the fourth. Senior Lucas Johnson scored at 4:42 of the fourth to pull the Jumbos within 18-17. Bates senior Kyle Weber netted his fourth goal of the game for a 19-17 lead with 3:29 on the fourth-quarter clock, but Jumbo sophomore Ben Connelly tallied 32 seconds later making it 19-18.
Bates won the face-off on a violation, but turned the ball over. Bobcat sophomore goalie Mitchell Drake saved a shot by Jumbo junior Frank Hattler with two minutes remaining. Bates cleared the ball, called time-out, but then turned it over on a shot clock violation. Tufts cleared and called time-out, but the Bates defense prevailed.
The Bobcats had stormed out of the gate to lead 9-4 after one quarter. Senior Charlie Fay scored five times in the opening 15 minutes to lead the Bobcats, while senior Andrew Melvin assisted three first-period strikes.
Freshman Matt Chlastawa scored three goals in the second quarter for Bates, giving the visitors leads of 10-4, 11-5 and 12-8. The Jumbos had made a goaltending change at the beginning of the second quarter and junior Robert Treiber recorded five second-period saves as Bates out-shot Tufts 13-6 in the quarter. Senior Michael Mattson and sophomore Danny Murphy both had a goal and an assist in the second for the Jumbos, who trailed 13-8 at intermission.
After Tufts senior Zach Richman scored a man-up goal 11 seconds into the third quarter closing the gap to 13-9, Bates got the next three including a goal and an assist by senior Jake Walsh to lead 16-9. Facing a seven-goal deficit that was the largest of the game, Tufts rattled off the next five goals and were within 16-14 early in the fourth. Murphy and Hattler both scored and assisted goals during the Jumbo run.
Fay and Chlastawa each scored their sixth goal of the game back-to-back for Bates, who again was able to keep the Jumbos at an arm’s length up 18-14. Howefver, consecutive tallies by Connelly (three goals, assist) cut Bates’ lead to 18-16 and led to the dramatic conclusion.
Senior Sam Francis won 21 of 35 face-offs to help the Bobcat cause. Fay (seven points), Chlastawa and Weber combined for 16 of Bates’ 19 goals. Senior defenseman Fred Ulbrick caused a pair of turnovers and Drake had eight saves in net. Sophomore Arthur Churwell picked up four groundballs.
Richman led Tufts with four goals while Mattson accumulated three goals and two assists. Junior defenseman Connor Lansdale won four groundballs and caused a pair of turnovers. Treiber had 11 saves in three quarters of action in the Jumbo net.
Bates finished with advantages of 54-39 in shots and 29-24 in groundballs. Both teams were effective in man-up situations as Bates went four for eight and Tufts was three for 10. A total of 18 penalties were called.