No. 8 men's lacrosse pulls away from Trinity 13-8 in home opener

Jack Allard scored four goals with two assists in Bates' 13-8 win over Trinity on March 19, 2016. (Josh Kuckens/Bates College) 

LEWISTON, Maine -- The No. 8 nationally ranked Bates men's lacrosse team outscored Trinity College in each quarter, defeating the Bantams 13-8 in the Bobcats' home opener Saturday at Garcelon Field.

Bates (5-1, 2-1 NESCAC) scored five straight goals between the third and fourth quarters to pull away with a 12-5 lead, before Trinity took advantage of a series of Bates turnovers to score three in a row, closing the gap to 12-8. Bates junior Kyle Weber (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) scored the game's only extra-man goal with 50.9 seconds left for the final margin.

Bates senior Jack Allard (Ridgewood, N.J.) scored four goals and assisted on two others to lead the Bobcat offense. Weber scored three goals while sophomore Max Breschi (Carlisle, Pa.) and junior Charlie Fay (Falmouth, Maine) added two goals apiece. Sophomore Burke Smith (Wilton, Conn.) contributed a goal and an assist.

Both teams' goalies played major roles, with Trinity's Henry Coote making 17 saves and Bates senior Joe Faria (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) making 14 stops. Faria even attempted a shot that went wide when he noticed Coote leaving the goal unattended 70 yards away.

Bates first-year Eli Cooper (Glastonbury, Conn.) had a standout performance on faceoffs, winning 11 of 16 and leading the Bobcats with six ground balls.

Trinity first-year Ben Knaus scored four goals to lead the Bantams (1-4, 1-2 NESCAC), while senior Ryan DeSimone added three. Scott Morgan won 13 of 25 faceoffs on the day.

Bates never trailed in the game, but it was a close contest most of the way. After Bates opened the game with goals by Allard and Fay for a 2-0 lead, the Bantams evened the score with back-to-back goals by Stefan Pappas and Knaus. Weber's first goal -- shot over his left shoulder on the run on the outside left wing -- gave Bates the lead for good at 3-2 with 2:43 left in the first quarter. 

Fay made it 4-2 with a spectacular fake and a low shot past Coote, but Trinity pulled within one goal two more times in the second quarter. Knaus made it 4-3 with a strong individual move, dodging two defenders and getting his shot off in the middle of the box. Smith scored on a fast-break after Bates forced a turnover, but DeSimone had the answer with 4:31 left in the second. Allard's second goal of the game came with 21 seconds left in the quarter, giving Bates a 6-4 advantage at the half.

Bates senior defender Ken O'Friel (Scarsdale, N.Y.) made it a three-goal game for the first time with 9:22 left in the third quarter. Knaus then closed the gap to 7-5 halfway through the third, but Bates got two demoralizing goals from Allard in the final 1:23 of the quarter for a 9-5 advantage. 

The Bobcats expanded the run to 5-0 and made it 12-5 with a pair of goals by Breschi sandwiching Weber's second goal of the game. Burke Smith and junior Wes Shrewsbury (Boxford, Mass.) assisted on Breschi's scores.

Knaus ended the run with his fourth tally of the game with 4:39 left in the fourth. The Bantams took advantage of back-to-back turnovers in Bates' defensive end, with the opportunistic DeSimone gathering the ball both times and firing past Faria to make it a 12-8 game with 2:57 left. A pair of penalties called on the Bantams with 1:09 left in the game gave Bates a two-man advantage, and with 50.9 seconds to go Allard assisted on Weber's third goal.

Bates will host Keene State, the same team it defeated in the first round of the 2015 NCAA Division III Tournament, in a non-conference game Wednesday at 5pm.