|Wesleyan University||Bates College|
LEWISTON, Maine — The No. 15 nationally ranked Bates men’s lacrosse team built a four-goal lead and held on as Wesleyan University scored twice in the final minute for a 15-14 victory in the NESCAC opener for the host Bobcats and the season opener for the visiting Cardinals.
Bates (3-0, 1-0 NESCAC) led 13-9 after three quarters and 15-11 with 3:39 to go in regulation. Taylor Ghesquiere cut it to 15-12 with 2:14 remaining, and Carter Hawthorne scored twice in the final 54 seconds, drawing the Cardinals within a goal at 15-14 with 34 seconds remaining. Wesleyan’s Jason Gibson won the final faceoff of the game and the Cardinals called timeout with 20 seconds remaining to set up a would-be game-tying shot, but a late turnover gave the ball back to Bates with seven seconds to go, allowing the Bobcats to escape with the victory.
Bates senior Charlie Fay scored four goals and added one assist, while senior Andrew Melvin tied his career high with four goals. Senior Kyle Weber scored three times, while senior Jake Walsh added two goals and two assists and first-year Matt Chlastawa contributed a goal and an assist.
Carter Hawthorne led Wesleyan (0-1, 0-1 NESCAC) with four goals and two assists. Taylor Ghesquiere added three goals, Harry Stanton had two goals and two assists and Cole Turpin scored twice. Christian Barker scored once and added two assists, while Tom Dupont added a goal and an assist.
On a bitterly cold and windy day at Garcelon Field, the Cardinals started out with the first three goals of the game, beginning with Taylor Ghesquiere’s tally with 11:31 left in first quarter. After Quinn Meldelson caused a Bates turnover for the first of three occasions in the game, Dupont assisted on Collin Hitter’s goal at the 10:22 mark. Wesleyan then won the ensuing faceoff and maintained possession until Hawthorne fed Stanton for his first goal and a 3-0 lead.
Bates answered with four straight goals, however, starting with Walsh’s score with 8:15 to go. A two-minute, non-releasable penalty was called on Wesleyan’s Andres Rodriguez, allowing Melvin to score back to back man-up goals at the 7:40 and 7:00 marks, on assists by Chlastawa and Clarke Jones. Bates then moved ahead 4-3 on Scott Baber’s goal, following a save by Mitchell Drake on a shot by Barker. Less than a minute later, Hawthorne scored again on a Barker assist to even the game at 4-4.
A conduct penalty called on Wesleyan at the end of the first period handed the ball to Bates to start the second quarter, and Fay ripped a low shot jogging away from the Cardinal goal for a 5-4 Bates lead 20 seconds into the period. With 12:40 left in the period, Bates took advantage of a Wesleyan turnover as Fay assisted Chlastawa to make it 6-4. Stanton scored again with a Hawthorne assist, but Bates went up by three as Fay struck 22 seconds later and Weber scored on a Walsh assist with 6:17 to go in the half.
But Wesleyan ended the first half in similar fashion to the second half, scoring three unanswered goals in the last five minutes to pull even at 8-8 by halftime. Barker and Turpin tallied at the 4:35 and 3:00 marks, and a holding penalty called on Melvin with 49 seconds left set up a man-up goal by Dupont to tie the game at 8-8 with 32 seconds left.
Bates outscored Wesleyan 5-1 in the third quarter to take control of the game, with Weber scoring twice in the period and Walsh, Melvin and Fay also scoring. Ghesquiere narrowed the lead to 10-9 for Wesleyan on a Barker assist with 8:08 left in the period, but Weber answered with a man-up goal at the 6:59 mark and Melvin and Fay gave Bates a four-goal lead with scores at 5:34 and 4:41.
Wesleyan’s Hawthorne and Bates’ Melvin traded goals near the 9:00 mark of the fourth quarter to keep the difference at four. Bates then received an extra-man opportunity with a one-minute conduct foul called against the Cardinals, but it was Wesleyan who scored in the ensuing minute, with Stanton assisting Turpin on a fast break.
Fay restored Bates’ lead to four goals for the final time with 3:39 remaining in regulation before Wesleyan’s late run closed the gap to one before time ran out on the Cardinals’ comeback attempt.
Drake started in goal for Bates and made seven saves in the first half. Rob Strain tended goal in the second half and made two saves. For Wesleyan, Ted Bergman played in goal for the entire game, making 14 saves. Wesleyan won 16 out of 30 faceoffs and shot attempts were even between the teams at 40-40 but Bates had a 29-23 edge in shots on goal and a 22-18 edge in turnovers committed.