Strain, men's lacrosse beat Keene State, 12-9

LEWISTON, Maine – Junior Jack Strain scored a game-high four goals, including two during a 6-1 run between the second and third quarters, as Bates College men's lacrosse beat Keene State College, 12-9, on Wednesday evening at Garcelon Field.

With their 6-1 streak the Bobcats (3-4) turned a 5-4 deficit with 5:11 left in the second quarter into a 10-6 lead over the Owls (1-6) with 6:00 to play in the third, and the hosts stretched their lead to as large as 12-7 at the beginning of the fourth period.

In support of Strain (Montclair, N.J.), first-years Charlie Fay (Falmouth, Maine) and Kyle Weber (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) and junior Evan Chen (Katonah, N.Y.) each netted two goals. Sophomore Jack Allard (Ridgewood, N.J.) posted two assists and a goal, and sophomore Charlie Hildebrand (Berwyn, Pa.) and first-year Jake Walsh (Baltimore, Md.) added two assists apiece.

First-year Bryan Rotatori (Grafton, Mass.) paced the Owls with three goals while classmates Robert Hart (Londonderry, N.H.) and Tyler Reilly (Grafton, Mass.) added two goals each.

After Keene St. grabbed a 2-1 lead midway through the first quarter, Bates used three consecutive goals to take a 4-2 edge with 9:36 to go in the second quarter off tallies from junior Conor Henrie (Lexington, Mass.), Strain, and Fay.

The visitors answered with three straight goals of their own over a three-minute period to regain the advantage at 5-4. The Bobcats then began their run as Allard, Strain, and Weber found the back of the net in a 75-second span to give Bates a 7-5 lead. Hart snuck in a goal just before the half to cut Bates' lead to 7-6 at the break.

The Bobcats revived their momentum in the third quarter as goals from Chen, Weber, and Strain staked the hosts their 10-6 lead with 6:00 remaining in the frame. After a goal from Rotatori, Fay responded with his second tally to make the score 11-7 through three periods.

Strain pushed Bates' edge to 12-7 just over three minutes into the final stanza while the Owls netted two goals in the final 8:17 as part of a late rally.

Senior goalie Charlie Kazarian (Providence, R.I.) made nine saves on 15 first-half shots in the win while sophomore Joe Faria (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) turned aside seven of 10 shots in the second half. Sophomore Dylan Florian (West Hartford, Conn.) stopped 14 shots in the loss.

The Bobcats won 18-of-25 faceoffs behind an 11-of-15 effort from junior Mac Jackson (Hood River, Ore.) and a 7-for-10 performance from senior Paul Donovan (Norwell, Mass.).

Next, Bates returns to NESCAC action at Hamilton on Saturday at noon while Keene State plays at UMass-Dartmouth on Saturday at 1 p.m. in its Little East Conference opener.