No. 2 men's lacrosse clinches NESCAC regular season title with 16-14 win at Connecticut College

Head coach Peter Lasagna and the Bates men's lacrosse team defeated Connecticut College 16-14 to rise to 12-0 on the season on April 22, 2017 at Freeman Field. (File photo by Brewster Burns for Bates College)

NEW LONDON, Conn. -- The No. 2 nationally ranked Bates men's lacrosse team rallied from four goals down to defeat the Connecticut College Camels by a score of 16-14 Saturday afternoon at Freeman Field. 

With the win, Bates (12-0, 9-0 NESCAC) breaks the program record for wins in one season and clinches the top seed in the upcoming NESCAC tournament. The Bobcats had won 11 games in a season five times previously, including each of the past two years.

Senior captain Charlie Fay (Falmouth, Maine) led the way once again with five goals against the Camels (7-7, 3-6 NESCAC) and junior Clarke Jones (Pepper Pike, Ohio) added four goals of his own to go along with two assists. Senior Andrew Melvin (Medfield, Mass.) dished out a team-high four assists and first-year Matt Chlastawa (Westfield, Mass.) contributed three goals and three assists.

The Bobcats found themselves down 8-4 with 4:38 to go in the second quarter when the Camels' Kevin Schirmacher scored on an assist from Sean Smith.

But Fay answered for Bates with a pair of goals to close the half. He found the back of the net on an assist from Jones with 2:03 remaining and tallied an unassisted goal with just 42 seconds left in the half.

Bates trailed 8-6 at halftime. They opened the second half with a score when Fay connected with Jones, trimming the Camel lead to 8-7.  

Connecticut College continued to put the pressure on and with 7:00 left in the third quarter, PJ Kelleher dished out one of his game-high five assists, finding Smith to make the score 11-8 in faver of the Camels.

That's when the Bobcats made their move.

Senior captain Kyle Weber (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) scored just one goal on the afternoon. But his tally with 6:19 to go in the third quarter on an assist from senior Jake Walsh (Baltimore, Md.) started a 5-0 Bates run.

Melvin found Jones for the junior's third goal of the quarter and Melvin tallied the equalizer on a Chlastawa assist with 3:46 left.

The two players switched roles with Chlastawa scoring on a Melvin assist to give Bates a 12-11 lead at the end of three quarters.

They never trailed again.

The two teams traded goals in the fourth quarter, with Bates getting on the board first less than a minute in on an unassisted score from Walsh.

With 3:09 to go in the game, the Camels cut the Bobcat lead to one for the final time when Kelleher found Jordan Foster, making the score 15-14 in favor of Bates.

One minute later, Chlastawa tallied his third goal of the afternoon, this one on an assist from Jones, giving the Bobcats their final margin of victory.

Fay scored four of his game-high five goals in the second quarter while Jones scored all of his goals in the second half.   

The Bobcats successfully cleared all 14 of their attempts on Saturday. They only turned the ball over eight times and forced 12 turnovers on defense. Bates won the game despite the Camels winning 26 of 33 faceoffs. 

The Bobcats look to finish the regular season undefeated this Wednesday when they host the Colby College Mules at 4:30 p.m. on Garcelon Field.