BABSON PARK, Mass. -- The No. 15 nationally ranked Bates men's lacrosse team scored three unanswered goals in the fourth quarter to take the lead for good in a 10-8 road victory over Babson Wednesday night.
Wednesday's game marked the first time the Bobcats (2-0) have played the Beavers (1-1) in men's lacrosse since 1990.
Bates found themselves down 8-7 entering the fourth quarter of action. With 9:49 left in the game, sophomore Dahnique Brown-Jones (New Britain, Conn.) forced a turnover and Bates successfully cleared the ball. An initial shot by first-year Matt Chalastawa (Westfield, Mass.) missed wide with 8:47 remaining on the clock. But just 10 seconds later, senior Andrew Melvin (Medfield, Mass.) found senior captain Charlie Fay (Falmouth, Maine) and the All-American found the back of the net, tying the game at eight.
Fay finished the game with two goals, an assist and two ground balls.
With the game tied at eight, the Bobcats caught a break when the Beavers' Niall Dillon got called for pushing, giving Bates a 30-second man-up opportunity.
They took advantage in a big way.
This time Fay found Melvin and Melvin delivered the go-ahead goal with 6:30 left in regulation.
Melvin led the Bobcats with three goals on the night. He added an assist and a ground ball as well.
The Bobcats won all four face-offs in the fourth quarter and out-shot the Beavers 12-4 down the stretch. The Beavers managed only one shot on goal in the fourth as well. Overall, Bates won 14 of 22 face-offs with senior Sam Francis (Newburyport, Mass.) winning 13 of 19 of the face-offs he took.
Sophomore goalkeeper Mitchell Drake (Annapolis, Md.) made a career-high 13 saves between the pipes for Bates. But the only save he needed to make in the fourth quarter came with 5:04 to go and the Bobcats leading by one. He denied a Connor Flaherty shot and the Bobcats immediately cleared the ball successfully.
The game remained in doubt with the Bobcats holding on to a one-point lead until senior captain Kyle Weber (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) scored an unassisted goal to ensure the victory with 21 seconds to go in the contest.
Babson took an early 2-0 lead thanks to unassisted goals by Dillon and Brendan Duffy.
But sophomore midfielder Josh Caldwell (Gardiner, Maine) got Bates on the board with 4:47 left in the first quarter. Fellow sophomore Brown-Jones delivered the assist on Caldwell's first career goal.
Senior Jake Walsh (Baltimore, Md.) scored the equalizer off a Babson turnover with 2:10 remaining in the first quarter.
The Beavers grabbed a 3-2 lead in the second quarter when Axel Brown scored on an assist from Dillon. Bates tied things up at three out of a timeout on Fay's first goal of the game. His equalizer came with 7:53 to go in the first half. But the Beavers managed to grab a 4-3 edge just 23 seconds later. After a Bates face-off violation gave the ball to Babson, Kevin Klempner found Samuel Mishkind for the go-ahead score.
The teams continued to trade goals. Melvin scored with 4:28 to go in the second quarter and Owen Allen put Babson back up 5-4 with a goal less than a minute later on an assist from Klempner.
The Bobcats won the ensuing face-off and with 2:31 to go in the half Weber scored his first goal of the night. He finished with two goals and a ground ball.
The first half ended with the teams tied at five.
The Bobcats took their first lead of the game with 10:48 remaining in the third quarter.
After the Beavers turned the ball over, senior Charlie Gravina (Fair Haven, N.J.) picked up the ground ball. The Bobcats cleared the ball successfully and senior Scott Baber (Pound Ridge, N.Y.) tallied the go-ahead score unassisted.
But with 8:04 to go in the third, the Bobcats committed a costly turnover in their end of the field on a failed clear attempt. Matthew Logan took advantage, tying the game at six.
Then the Beavers won the ensuing face-off and took a 7-6 lead on an unassisted Flaherty goal.
With 5:21 left in the third, junior Clarke Jones (Pepper Pike, Ohio) connected with Melvin who knotted the score at seven with his second goal of the contest.
The third quarter did not end on a positive note for Bates. With just six seconds to go, Thomas Jung found Flaherty for the Beavers' eighth goal of the game.
But it was also their final goal of the game.
The Bobcats scored the final three goals to secure their second straight 2-0 start to their season. Bates won their first four games last year.
Bates opens NESCAC play this Sunday when they welcome Wesleyan to Garcelon Field for a 1:00 p.m. start. The Bobcats won at Wesleyan last year in overtime by a score of 12-11.