Allard's goal late in overtime beats Wesleyan 12-11

Jack Allard scored the game-winning goal over Wesleyan in the final seconds of overtime on March 5, 2016. (File photo by Josh Kuckens/Bates College)

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- Senior Jack Allard scored a man-up goal on an assist by junior Charlie Fay with 4.9 seconds left in overtime, as the No. 11 nationally ranked Bates College men's lacrosse team won 12-11 at Wesleyan University in the Bobcats' NESCAC opener.

Wesleyan (0-1) was whistled for a 30-second pushing penalty with 31.2 seconds on the clock, and the end-of-regulation score of 11-11 still on the board. That penalty came after the Bobcats maintained possession in its offensive end with three ground ball pickups in a 36-second span, two by Allard (Ridgewood, N.J.) and one by sophomore Max Breschi (Carlisle, Pa.).

Bates' man-up offense patiently worked the ball around before it found its way to Fay at the top of the circle. Fay (Falmouth, Maine) retreated several steps, opening up space to pass over the top to his fellow All-American teammate Allard, cutting into the middle of the box. Allard wheeled and fired past Wesleyan goalie Ted Bergman to clich the win, sending the Bobcats to a 3-0 record for the first time since 2010.

Junior Kyle Weber (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) scored three goals and junior Jake Walsh (Baltimore, Md.) dished out four assists for the Bobcats. Sophomore Clarke Jones (Pepper Pike, Ohio), Breschi, Fay and Allard added two goals apiece. Allard and Breschi scooped five ground balls apiece. 

Senior goalie Joe Faria (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) played an immense game with 20 saves, while Wesleyan's Bergman also stopped 20 shots.

Niall Devaney led Wesleyan with three goals and an assist, while Christian Barker had a goal and three assists. Quentin DellaFera added two scores and a helper.

In a game that saw the lead change hands three times, Bates scored three straight goals to start the fourth quarter -- one each by Fay, Allard and Weber -- for a 10-8 lead. Junior Andrew Melvin (Medfield, Mass.) tallied on an assist by junior Wes Shrewsbury (Boxford, Mass.) with 5:52 left in regulation for another two-goal cushion at 11-9.

A holding penalty called against Bates opened the door for the Cardinals to score their only man-up goal of the game (out of five opportunities), as Lyle Mitchell closed the gap to 11-10 with 2:26 left.

Bates went man-up five seconds later with a 3-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty called against Wesleyan, but the Cardinals forced a Bobcat turnover with 1:41 left. Wesleyan called timeout before getting the game-tying goal by Devaney with 51 seconds left in regulation. Bates won the ensuing faceoff but the Cardinals forced another turnover to set up two potential game-winning shots that both missed the mark, one by Barker and the second by Devaney.

Faria came up big in the extra period, saving three shots in a one-minute span, one by Harry Stanton and the next two by Mitchell. Thanks to the three big ground balls the Bobcats picked up in their offensive end in the final 69 seconds, the Bobcats kept the ball away out of Wesleyan's possession from Faria's save at the 2:29 mark until Allard scored the game-winner in the waning seconds.

Bates will play a non-conference game at the University of New England Sunday at 2pm.