Chlastawa scores game-winner, men's lacrosse tops Babson 10-9 in overtime

Junior captain Matt Chlastawa scored the game-winning goal in overtime and the Bates men's lacrosse team defeated Babson 10-9 on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

BABSON PARK, Mass. -- Junior captain Matt Chlastawa weaved through the Babson defense and scored on the run to give the Bates men's lacrosse team a 10-9 overtime road victory over the Beavers Wednesday afternoon.

With the win, the Bobcats (1-1) hand the Beavers (2-1) their first loss of the season. Eight different Bobcats found the back of the net, with Chlastawa (Westfield, Mass.) and junior Brendan Mullally (Baltimore, Md.) scoring two goals each. Chlastawa and senior Andrew Small (Deerfield, Ill.) dished out two assists apiece. Senior captains Stephen Bull (Baltimore, Md.) and Rocco Fantoni (Hauppage, N.Y.) led Bates on defense, with Bull recording a game-high five ground balls and Fantoni causing two turnovers. The Bobcats used a pair of goalkeepers in the victory. Senior Mitchell Drake (Annapolis, Md.) played the first 30 minutes and recorded eight saves on 12 shots. Junior Rob Strain (Montclair, N.J.) played the entire second half and the overtime period to earn the win between the pipes. He tallied four saves on nine shots.

Bates won the game just 40 seconds into overtime. Senior Eli Cooper (Glastonbury, Conn.) won the faceoff by picking up the ground ball after it rolled deep into Bates' end of the field. Cooper turned in a strong performance, winning 14-22 faceoffs on the afternoon. Although he ended up losing the ball, first-year Jack Golden (Northport, N.Y.) picked it up and raced past midfield, clearing the ball to Chlastawa. The speedy two-time All-American did the rest, shaking multiple defenders on his way to scoring the game-winner.

The Bobcats nearly won the game in regulation but Babson's Owen Allen scored on an assist from Niall Dillon to tie the game at nine with 59 seconds left in the fourth quarter. 

Babson jumped out to a 4-1 lead over the Bobcats in the first quarter. But Bates answered by outscoring the Beavers 4-0 in the second quarter. Small got the rally started with a man-up goal on an assist from junior captain Curtis Knapton (Westbrook, Maine) with 13:56 left in the half. Senior Matt Kelleher (Newburyport, Mass.) connected with Mullally for the latter's second goal of the half, cutting the deficit to 4-3 with 8:20 remaining. Then with 7:48 to go in the half, Kelleher scored a goal with an assist from Small, knotting the score at four. 

Bates took its first lead of the day when junior defender Frank Spitz (Gladwyne, Pa.) scored the first goal of his career, an unassisted tally with 2:11 left in the second quarter.

The Bobcats took a 5-4 lead into halftime. But the Beavers scored the first three goals of the third quarter to go up 7-5. Chlastawa answered with an unassisted goal and Bates tied the game again with 6:25 to go in the quarter when Chlastawa connected with Knapton. 

With 4:57 left in the third quarter, Samuel Mishkind gave the Beavers their last lead of the day when he scored a man-up goal, putting Babson up 8-7. Just over 30 seconds later, Chlastawa continued his strong afternoon by assisting on Golden's first career goal, tying the score at eight. 

The Bobcats took the lead early in the fourth quarter when Mullally found sophomore Jack Scribner (Falmouth, Maine) for the latter's third goal of the young season. The lead held for more than seven minutes before Babson forced overtime.

Christopher Aranalde made 15 saves in goal for the Beavers. Seven different Babson players scored goals, with Mishkind and Allen scoring two apiece.

Bates dominated the ground balls, tallying 46 to Babson's 29. 

Wednesday's win marks the Bobcats' ninth consecutive victory in games that go to overtime. The Bobcats host Middlebury in NESCAC action this Saturday at 1pm.