LEWISTON, Maine -- Sophomore Matt Chlastawa scored a season-high five goals and the Bates men's lacrosse team weathered below freezing conditions to defeat the Trinity College Bantams 15-7 Saturday afternoon.
Chlastawa (Westfield, Mass.) is tied for the NESCAC lead in points (30) through six games after his five goals and one assist propelled Bates (3-3, 1-2 NESCAC) to victory over the Bantams (1-3, 0-2 NESCAC) in sunny but also cold and windy weather on Garcelon Field.
The first half proved to be a defensive struggle. Trinity took its only lead of the game when Teddy Myers found Brian Crowe for a long stick goal from straight on with 14:43 left in the first quarter. Down 1-0, the Bobcats tallied the equalizer when Chlastawa took the ball from behind the net and maneuvered around his defender, bouncing the ball past Trinity keeper Woody Hamilton to tie the game at one with 12:28 to go in the first.
With 11:02 left in the opening quarter of action, first-year Jack Scribner (Falmouth, Maine) passed the ball from behind the net to senior captain Clarke Jones (Pepper Pike, Ohio) and Jones delivered a sidearm lefty shot from straight on past Hamilton to put Bates ahead for good.
Chlastawa scored again with 8:22 remaining in the quarter when he took the ball from behind the net and shook a defender on the near side, centering himself while firing on the run from five yards out, extending the Bates lead to 3-1.
The Bantam defense tightened and neither team scored again for the rest of the quarter.
Then in the second quarter of action, the teams combined for just one goal, and that came with 26 seconds left in the period. Chlastawa picked up a ground ball and delivered a pass ahead to sophomore Curtis Knapton (Westbrook, Maine) on the far side of the goal. Knapton charged in and scored from eight yards out to push the Bobcat lead to 4-1.
The Bobcats took command with four goals to start the third quarter. Bates won the faceoff to begin the quarter and a Jones shot hit the crossbar, bouncing right to senior Jack O'Brien (Rye, N.Y). O'Brien whipped a shot from 18 yards out past Hamilton for a long stick goal, making the score 5-1 Bates just 13 seconds into the second half.
Chlastawa continued his outstanding day with his third goal, bouncing the ball past Hamilton after shaking yet another Trinity defender for the unassisted tally with 11:25 left in the quarter.
After having a goal earlier in the game waved off, junior Dahnique Brown-Jones (New Britain, Conn.) tallied his first score of the day on a strong shot from 10 yards out after he split a pair of defenders to extend the Bates lead to 7-1 with 8:59 to go in the third.
Senior captain Burke Smith (Wilton, Conn.) capped off the 8-0 run by charging the net from the far side and scoring on the move to push the Bobcat lead to 8-1 with 6:51 remaining in the quarter.
The Bantams cut the Bates lead to 8-3 with 2:20 left in the quarter thanks to goals from Morty Fearey and Andrew Collins. But that is as close as they got for the remainder of the contest.
Senior Max Breschi (Carlisle, Pa.) scored from a sharp angle on the near side by going top shelf with just one second left in the third, extending the Bates lead to 9-3.
Bates scored the first five goals of the fourth quarter with three in the opening minute, putting the game completely out of reach.
The Bobcats outshot the Bantams 51-41 on the afternoon. Sophomore Rob Strain (Montclair, N.J.) made 11 saves in his 55 minutes, 22 seconds in goal. Hamilton tallied 14 saves for the Bantams. Seven different players scored for Trinity while Jones added a hat trick and an assist to back up Chlastawa on offense for Bates. Jones also recorded a team-high six ground balls. Nine different Bobcats found the back of the net on the afternoon. Meanwhile first-year Will Haskell (Norwalk, Conn.) was a force on defense for Bates, causing a game-high three turnovers and recording two ground balls.
Bates hosts Keene State in non-conference action this Tuesday at 5:00 p.m.