LEWISTON, Maine – The No. 11 Amherst College men's lacrosse team fell to No. 3 Bates College, 26-14 in NCAA Division III Championship Third Round play Saturday afternoon at Garcelon Field in Lewiston, Maine.
With the loss, Amherst concludes its terrific 2017 campaign, 13-5 overall, while Bates (16-1) advances to the quarterfinal round of the national tournament and will face No. 4 Wesleyan University (19-1) next Wednesday, May 17.
In the opening quarter Bates applied early pressure and broke through with the game's first goal when Matt Clastawa scored following a pass from Andrew Melvin to make it 1-0 at the 11:47 mark. Amherst answered when Colin Minicus '20 netted a man-up goal at the 9:06 mark. However, the hosts were quick to respond as Burke Smith picked up the ground ball on the ensuing faceoff and then scored just 10 seconds later to give the Bobcats a 2-1 lead. The hosts then extend their lead to 3-1 with 8:10 to play in the first stanza when Melvin potted an unassisted marker. The Mammoths cut their deficit to one with 6:47 on the clock following an unassisted goal by Jimmy McAfee '20 which set the score at 3-2.
Bates increased its lead back to two 41 seconds later when Charlie Fay capitalized on a feed from Clarke Jones to make it 4-2. Another Smith ground ball pick up on the faceoff resulted in the Bobcats' fifth score as the red and white posted a 5-2 lead with 5:56 to play in the first period. Less than a minute later, Bates upped its cushion to four goals when Kyle Weber scored with help from Chlastawa to make it 6-2. An Evan Wolf '19 score halted the Bobcats' run of three straight goals and narrowed Amherst's deficit to 6-3 with 4:30 remaining in the opening frame. With 1:25 to play in the quarter, Fay collected his second goal of the game (assisted by Jake Walsh), before he added another – this one from Chlastawa – to make it 8-3. Minicus then found McAfee who made it 8-4 after 15 minutes.
Amherst got off to a quick start in the second quarter as Minicus and Andrew Ford '19 registered back-to-back goals to pull the Mammoths to within two at 8-6 with 13 minutes to play first half. A goal by Jack Norton '19 (from McAfee) pulled the visitors even closer as Bates' lead dwindled to 8-7 with 12:28 remaining in the second quarter. After goal by Wolf with an assist from Brett Inglesby '18 knotted the game at 8-8, Bates answered with six straight goals of its own as Chlastawa, Fay and Weber fired in two markers each to make it 14-8 with 7:02 to play in the half. Weber added two helpers, and Fay and Jack O'Brien chipped in an assist apiece during the run for the Bobcats. A seventh straight goal, this one an extra-man opportunity tally by Fay (from Jake Walsh) increased the Bates advantage to 15-8 with 4:52 to play in the first half. With 3:05 on the clock, Norton found the back of the cage for Amherst halt the run and pull the visitors back to within six (15-9). From there, the Mammoths were able to stave off a late barrage of shots by the hosts as Bates held a 15-9 lead at intermission.
In the third quarter, Bates began to pull away scoring eight unanswered goals to give the Bobcats a commanding, 23-9 lead. Chlastawa scored four times in the frame and chipped in an assist, while Fay added two goals and three assists. Weber and Jones contributed unassisted markers each to help the hosts stake their 14-goal advantage.
In the fourth quarter, Melvin notched a man-up strike on a feed from Chlastawa at the 10:34 mark, before Amherst found the back of the net for the first time since the 3:05 mark of the second quarter when Brogan Mahon '19 scored a man-up marker following a dish from Connor Sheehan '18 less than 30 seconds later to set the score at 24-10. Norton then found the back of the net three-straight times on the man-advantage as Sheehan, Mahon, and Minicus respectively, to make it 24-13 with just under six minutes to play in the fourth quarter. A fifth straight goal by Amherst saw Mahon find the back of the cage as Minicus provided the helper at the 3:55 mark as the visitors closed the gap to 10 goals at 24-14. However, that's as close as Amherst could get as Chlastawa powered in two more goals with assists from Weber and Dahnique Brown-Jones to set the final score at 26-14.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Norton finished with a team-high 15 goals while Minicus, Mahon, McAfee and Wolf added two each. Minicus also contributed three assists, while Drew Kelleher '18 led all players with 11 ground balls.
- In goal, Cody Tranbarger '17 suffered the loss and made nine saves in 31:43 of action.
- Rob Strain made 15 saves in goal for Bates, while Chlastawa and fay combined for 17 of the team's 26 goals.
- Chlastawa and Fay added four assists each, while Weber chipped in four goals and three helpers. Fay also collected a team-high six ground balls while Smith picked up five ground balls.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- This is the second time in 2017 that Bates has defeated Amherst, having also defeated the Mammoths, 23-17 on March 12 at Garcelon Field in Lewiston, Maine.