No. 1 Bates men's lacrosse completes undefeated regular season

LEWISTON, Maine -- The No. 1 ranked Bates men's lacrosse team became the first team in NESCAC history to go 10-0 in league play with a 24-10 victory over the Colby College Mules Wednesday afternoon at Garcelon Field.

Bates (13-0, 10-0 NESCAC) becomes the first NESCAC men's lacrosse team since the league organized in 2001 to finish the regular season with an undefeated overall record and the first since Middlebury in 2005 to finish with an undefeated record in league play. The Panthers went 9-0 that season.

"We completed an undefeated season in the toughest conference in the country, so that's pretty rare, it's something to hang your hat on," senior captain Kyle Weber (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) said. "We'll enjoy it for 24 hours but then we have practice tomorrow to prepare (for the NESCAC tournament)." 

The Bobcats host Connecticut College and their zone defense this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in the NESCAC quarterfinals. Top-seeded Bates won 16-14 on the road against the eighth-seeded Camels on April 22.

"We know each other really well, I won't have to spend much time on the scouting report," head coach Peter Lasagna said. "It will come down to face-offs and goaltending." 

Bates broke the program record for goals in one NESCAC game with 24 Wednesday against the Mules (3-11, 2-8 NESCAC) in soggy conditions on Garcelon Field. Previously, Bates' program record for goals in one NESCAC game was 23, set earlier this year against Amherst.

Senior captain Charlie Fay (Falmouth, Maine) matched his career-high with six goals and first-year Matt Chlastawa (Westfield, Mass.) scored five goals and set a new career-high with five assists.  

"I got a couple (assists) early, just because I got the defense hung up so I had all day to watch cutters go in front of the net," Chlastawa said. "We wanted to establish our dominance early so we can get other guys in there to get some reps." 

With 13:01 left in the first quarter, Weber struck first for Bates, taking the ball 15 yards out and running a few steps forward, firing one of his trademark long distance shots into the back of the net, putting Bates up 1-0. Weber finished with four goals and two assists. Bates remains undefeated in Weber's career when he scores three or more goals in one game. 

With 11:16 to go in the first, Fay ducked and dived his way around multiple defenders, almost falling down, then getting up and rolling the ball into the net for the score, extending the lead to 2-0.

Junior Burke Smith (Wilton, Conn.) connected with senior Andrew Melvin (Medfield, Mass) right in front of the net to push the lead to 3-0 with 10:24 remaining.

Chlastawa went top shelf to push the lead to 4-0 on an assist from senior Jake Walsh (Baltimore, Md.) with 9:47 left in the first. 

Colby got on the board with eight minutes remaining on a bouncing shot from Tucker Dietrick on an assist from Austin Sayre.

Then with 5:52 to go in the first quarter, the Mules cut the deficit to two when Don Vivian found Colton Michel right in front of the net, making the score 4-2 in favor of the Bobcats.

The Bobcats extended the lead back to three thanks to Melvin's second goal of the afternoon, on an assist from junior Clarke Jones (Pepper Pike, Ohio) with 3:53 to go in the first quarter. 

Fay scored the Bobcats' sixth goal of the quarter in style, a behind-the-back score with an assist to Chlastawa to push the advantage to 6-2 with 3:17 remaining.

The Mules got one back on an unassisted tally from C.J. Hassan before Chlastawa found Jones with 2:04 left in the first for the Ohio native's first goal of the day.

Sophomore Andrew Small (Deerfield, Ill.) bounced the ball through the Colby keeper's legs to make the score 8-3 in favor of the Bobcats with 1:18 left.

Up 8-3 after one quarter, the Bobcats opened the scoring in the second quarter when Chlastawa passed the ball to Walsh from behind the net and Walsh fired it right back to Chlastawa for the first-year's second goal of the game.

Weber connected with Chlastawa who scored on an underhand shot to give Bates their 10th goal of the game with 10:10 to go in the second quarter.

Sayre cut the Bobcat lead to 10-4 when he scored on an assist from Vivian with 8:18 left in the half.

Walsh scored his only goal of the game when fired from long distance with 7:27 left in a man-up situation for the Bobcats. Fay earned the assist on the play.

Weber showed off his acrobatic skills with a behind-the-back goal that rattled into the back of the net off the post to put Bates up eight with 6:15 remaining.

Sayre took advantage of a man-up situation for the Mules by scoring his second goal of the afternoon to trim the Bobcat advantage to 12-5 with 3:32 left.

Hassan followed with his second goal of the game, cutting the lead to six with 2:07 to go.

First-year Otis Klingbeil (Columbus, Ohio) found his fellow first-year Chlastawa for Chlastawa's fourth goal of the half, extending the Bates advantage to 13-6 with 1:02 left.

With just 4.5 seconds to go in the first half, the Bobcats kept up the high-scoring pace with Weber connecting from distance on an assist from Walsh.

The Bobcats led 14-6 at halftime. Chlastawa finished the first half with four goals and two assists. Weber tallied three goals and one assist. Walsh recorded one goal and dished out three assists. Melvin and Fay each recorded two goals. 

Bates scored just 20 seconds into the third quarter when senior Sam Francis (Newburyport, Mass.) won the face-off and connected with Chlastawa for the first-year's fifth and final goal of the day.

Then with 13:47 left in the third, Walsh dished out his fourth and final assist of the day when he connected with Jones.

Sophomore Dahnique Brown-Jones (New Britain, Conn.) got in on the act with an unassisted tally to push the Bobcat lead to 17-6 with 13:06 to go in the quarter. He made a nice move around his defender in the center of the field and fired his shot from distance. 

Chlastawa continued his huge day when he connected with Fay on beautiful pass to the front of the net for Fay's third goal of the afternoon and Chlastawa's third assist.

Weber recorded his fourth goal of the day and Colby answered shortly after on a Kevin Seiler goal to make the score 19-7 in favor of Bates with 7:11 to go in the third.

Chlastawa tallied his fourth assist when he connected with Fay in a man-up situation for the Falmouth native's fourth goal of the afternoon, putting the Bobcats up 20-7 with 5:26 left in the quarter. 

The Bobcats took advantage of another man-up situation with Weber finding Fay who scored from distance for his fifth goal, pushing the lead to 21-7 with 2:30 left.

Bates led by 14 points at the end of three quarters.

They opened the scoring in the fourth quarter less than a minute in, when Jones found first-year Brendan Mullally (Baltimore, Md.), who scored from point blank range, making the score 22-7 Bates. 

Fay matched his career-high with his sixth goal of the game, scoring in a man-up situation with 9:50 left in regulation. Chlastawa's assist on the play gave him five goals and five assists in the game.

Brown-Jones quickly followed with the Bobcats' 24th goal of the afternoon, breaking the team record for most goals in one game against a NESCAC opponent. The record-breaking goal came with 9:13 to go in regulation, putting Bates up 24-7.

Colby scored the final three goals of the game, resulting in the 24-10 final score in favor of Bates.

The Bobcats won the ground ball battle 44-28 and they also won 23 of 38 face-offs. Bates outshot Colby 63-47.