Men's Lacrosse NESCAC Quarterfinals Preview: No. 4 Amherst Set to Host No. 5 Bates

Men's Lacrosse NESCAC Quarterfinals Preview: No. 4 Amherst Set to Host No. 5 Bates

NESCAC CHAMPIONSHIP CENTRAL

AMHERST, Mass. –  Securing the fourth-seed in the 2019 NESCAC Championship tournament, the Amherst College men's lacrosse team earned the right to host fifth-seeded Bates College in a Quarterfinal clash this Saturday, April 27 at Pratt Field at Lehrman Stadium. Opening face-off is slated for 3 p.m.

LIVE COVERAGE
Saturday's NESCAC Quarterfinal will feature live stats and a webcast broadcasted by the Northeast Sports Network (NSN).

SETTING THE SCENE
Facing off six days ago on April 20 at Garcelon Field, the Mammoths led from start to finish to power past Bates, 25-12. Amherst owned a dominant advantage in ground balls, 47-19, and went a perfect 3-for-3 on man-up opportunities, while Bates held the edge in shots, 56-53, and finished 4-for-7 up-a-man.

Previously meeting in the NESCAC postseason in 2015, Amherst edged the Bobcats, 10-8 in a NESCAC Semifinals matchup.

SCOUTING AMHERST
No. 5 Seed (13-2 Overall, 8-2 NESCAC) – Schedule/Roster/Stats
Capturing the fourth seed for the fifth time in program history, Amherst is set to host a quarterfinal battle for the sixth straight season. Pursing the program's first NESCAC crown, the Mammoths enter the weekend 9-18 all-time in tournament play and will look to advance to the Semifinals for the second straight spring.

  • Averaging 18.73 goals per game, the Mammoths boast the NESCAC's top scoring offense and rank third in the league in goals against average (10.20).
  • Leading the league in goals and points, Evan Wolf '19 headlines the Mammoths' offense with 57 markers, 31 assists and 88 total points. Jon Coffey '20 (42G, 8A) and Matt Solberg '20 (30G, 18A) add a potent one-two punch, while Colin Minicus '20 has proved to be a dangerous playmaker with a team-high 35 helpers (fourth in the NESCAC) to go along with 28 scores.
  • Dylan Finazzo '20 (30-61), Logan Lair '20 (45-98) and Juan Gonzalez '22 (143-265) each have the ability to be difference makers at the face off dot, with Gonzalez leading the Mammoths and ranking eighth in the league in ground balls with 69.
  • A noteworthy eight different Amherst players have caused 10-or-more turnovers so far this season, led by defender Rod Castro '20 who ranks second in the league with 31 CT's. Long stick midfielder James Crovatto '21 has also impressed on defense, forcing 23 turnovers to rank fifth in the NESCAC.
  • Stepping up down the stretch, Cam Mitchell '21 (2-0) and Gib Versfeld '21 (0-1) give the Mammoths two solid choices in between the pipes, with Mitchell owning a 10.00 GAA in 131:59 and Versfeld making 31 stops to boast a 10.47 GAA in 177:36 minutes of action. In 12 starts, Chad Simons '20 (11-1) owns a 10.19 GAA.

SCOUTING BATES
No. 5 Seed (10-4 Overall, 7-3 NESCAC) – Schedule/Roster/Stats
The Bobcats are the No. 5 seed for the first time since 2016 and are making their fifth straight appearance in the tournament and ninth overall. 

  • Brendan Mullally leads the Bates' attack with a team-high 37 goals (T-11th in NESCAC) to go along with 12 assists for 49 points, while Matt Chlastawa has dished out a league-leading 50 helpers and netted 30 scores to rank second in the conference in points with 86. Curtis Knapton (24G, 12A), Otis Klingbeil (23G, 5A) and Andrew Small (16G, 12A) round out the Bobcats' 25-plus point getters.
  • Eli Cooper has taken the majority of face offs for Bates this spring, going 163-361 (50.0%) at the X and leading the team in ground balls with 81 (seventh in NESCAC).
  • On the backline, Rocco Fantoni and William Holland lead the defensive unit, with Fantoni causing 28 turnovers and picking up 54 ground balls, and Holland notching 12 CT's and 20 GB's.
  • In between the pipes, Rob Strain (7-2) has started the past six contests to take the reins in goal, racking up 155 saves to own a 12.69 GAA and a 54.4 save percentage in 614:52 minutes. Mitchell Drake (3-2) is the Bobcats' other keeper of note, making 53 stops in 225:48 to boast a 14.35 GAA.

BY THE NUMBERS

   No. 4 Amherst     No. 5 Bates 
 Games 15   14
 Goals 281   206
 Goals/Game 18.73   14.71
 Assists 188   126
 Shots Per Game 52.40   48.00
 Shots on Goal % 62.8   57.6
 Shooting % 35.8   30.7
 Ground Balls 611   469
 Faceoff % 49.9 (240-481)    42.1 (183-435) 
 Caused Turnovers  204   113
 Turnovers 286   271
 Clear %   79.6 (265-333)   82.7 (306-370)
 Man-Up % 56.3 (27-48)   50.0 (27-54)
 Goals Against Avg.  10.20   13.13


2019 NESCAC Men's Lacrosse Championship
Quarterfinals - Saturday, April 27
No. 8 Trinity at No. 1 Tufts - 3 p.m.
No. 7 Middlebury at No. 2 Wesleyan - 2 p.m.
No. 6 Colby at No. 3 Williams - 1 p.m.
No. 5 Bates at No. 4 Amherst - 3 p.m.

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