Men's lacrosse falls in NESCAC quarterfinals to top-seeded Wesleyan

Clarke Jones tallied four goals and three assists and Matt Chlastawa aded three goals and two assists in Bates' 16-11 loss to top-seeded Wesleyan in the NESCAC Championship quarterfinals on April 28, 2018 in Middletown, Conn. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- Top-seeded Wesleyan University scored six of the first seven goals and made the eighth-seeded Bates men's lacrosse team play catchup the rest of the way, winning the teams' NESCAC Championship quarterfinal game 16-11 Saturday at Jackson Field.

Bates finishes the season with an 8-8 record, while the Cardinals (13-2) return to the semifinals for the fourth time in the past six seasons as Cole Turpin and Ronan Jacoby scored four goals apiece. Wesleyan will host the conference semifinals and final next weekend.

Senior Clarke Jones (Pepper Pike, Ohio) scored four goals and added three assists in a final powerhouse performance of his outstanding senior season. Jones finishes the year on top of the NESCAC in goals scored, with a career-high 52; he is also third in points (74).

Sophomore Matt Chlastawa (Westfield, Mass.), the conference leader in points (97) by a margin of 19, added three goals and three assists, finishing the year with 48 goals and a team-record 49 assists, the second-most points in a season in program history after Charlie Fay's 104 points in 2017.

The Cardinals came out hot to start the game and took a 1-0 lead just 46 seconds into play as Turpin connected with Harry Stanton. Less than three minutes later, Turpin scored his first of the game to increase the home team's lead to two.

Bates senior Max Breschi (Carlisle, Pa.) cut the deficit to one with 10:42 on the clock, but it would be the closest Bates would get the rest of the way as Wesleyan rallied with four unanswered goals -- two each from Jacoby and Turpin -- to take a 6-1 lead with 1:50 left in the first.

Jones ended the Cardinals' run at the 1:11 mark, but Taylor Ghesquiere answered just under a minute later to give the home team a 7-2 advantage entering the second quarter.

The Bobcats answered with a run of their own early in the second as Chlastawa and Jones scored 31 seconds apart, and first-year Jack Scribner (Falmouth, Maine) tallied another to get within two at the 11:03 mark.

But Wesleyan held Bates scoreless the rest of the half while scoring three more goals. With 2:25 on the clock, Ben Shively found the back of the net to give the home team a 10-5 halftime lead.

Wesleyan continued to increase its lead in the third quarter as Jacoby and Stanton scored the first two goals of the half at the 13:43 and 10:35 marks, respectively, to go ahead by seven.

After a goal by Jones ended a 5-0 Cardinal run, Carter Hawthorne scored back-to-back to give Wesleyan a 14-6 lead with 4:52 to play. The Bobcats won the ensuing faceoff and scored just nine seconds later, with Jones assisting junior Matt Kelleher (Newburyport, Mass.). Neither team scored the rest of the quarter.

Bates scored the first three goals of the fourth quarter and got within four with 6:13 remaining on the clock, with Chlastawa scoring at the 13:44 and 8:48 marks, followed by Jones' man-up goal from sophomore Brendan Mullally's (Baltimore, Md.) assist. But Wesleyan outscored the Bobcats 2-1 down the stretch to put the game away and seal the victory.

Wesleyan's Zach Zavalick won 15-of-17 faceoffs, leading the Cardinals to a massive 24-7 advantage in that category, and contributing to a 46-26 difference in shots attempted.

Bates junior Mitchell Drake (Annapolis, Md.) made 13 saves in the loss, while junior defender Rocco Fantoni (Hauppage, N.Y.) caused three turnovers and sophomore Frank Spitz (Gladwyne, Pa.) caused two while scooping three ground balls.