No. 6 Amherst spoils No. 12 men's lacrosse's senior day

Senior Eli Cooper won a career-high 19 faceoffs on Saturday, April 20, 2019 against No. 6 nationally ranked Amherst. (Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- The No. 12 nationally ranked Bates men's lacrosse team fell 25-12 to No. 6 Amherst Saturday at Garcelon Field.

Amherst (12-2, 7-2 NESCAC) never trailed and 14 different players scored goals for the visitors. Jon Coffey and Evan Wolf score a game-high four goals apiece for the Mammoths while junior Otis Klingbeil (Powell, Ohio) paced the Bobcats (9-4, 6-3 NESCAC) with three goals. Junior captain Matt Chlastawa (Westfield, Mass.) scored a pair of goals and dished out a game-high five assists. 

On Senior Day, senior Eli Cooper (Glastonbury, Conn.) impressed in the faceoff circle for Bates, winning 19-33 faceoffs and recording a game-high 10 ground balls. But overall, the ground ball battle went the Mammoths' way, with Amherst tallying 47 ground balls to the Bobcats' 29. 

Wolf, Coffey and Chase Yager scored in the opening three minutes to put the Mammoths up 3-0. Chlastawa got the Bobcats on the board with 11:57 left in the first quarter but Wolf found Coffey just 27 seconds later to put the Mammoths back up by three. Then 16 seconds after that goal, Jimmy McAfee connected with Colin Minicus to put Amherst up 5-1.

Neither team scored for nearly eight minutes after Minicus' goal, until senior Dahnique Brown-Jones (New Britain, Conn.) caught a tipped pass and fired from distance with 3:22 left in the quarter, cutting the Amherst lead to 5-2. The Mammoths finished every quarter strong on Saturday, and the first quarter was no exception, with McAfee finding the back of the net with 59 seconds left on an assist from Reid Shilling.

Down 6-2 after one quarter, the Bobcats could never mount a rally. The teams traded goals to start the second quarter, as Brown-Jones connected with Chlastawa for the latter's second goal of the contest, making the score 7-3 in favor of the Mammoths with 13:04 remaining in the half. The Mammoths responded with a 3-0 run before sophomore Steven Canale (North Andover, Mass.) cut the deficit to 10-4 with 8:54 left in the half on an assist from Chlastawa.

That six-point deficit is the closest Bates got for the remainder of the game. Amherst ended the second quarter on a 3-0 run to go up by nine at halftime.

The second half featured more goal-scoring for the Bobcats than the first half, with Bates tallying three goals in the third quarter and five goals in the fourth quarter. But even if the Bobcats had shutout Amherst in the second half, it wouldn't have been enough. And the Mammoths kept a consistent pace, scoring 12 goals in the second half after scoring 13 in the first half. 

Before the game, the Bobcats honored their 11 seniors in the class of 2019. Brown-Jones, captain Stephen Bull (Baltimore, Md.), Arthur Churchwell (Newton, Mass.), Cooper Clark (Rumson, N.J.), Cooper, Mitchell Drake (Annapolis, Md.), captain Rocco Fantoni (Hauppage, N.Y.), Charles Harker (Janesville, Wis.), Matt Kelleher (Newburyport, Mass.), Andrew Small (Deerfield, Ill.) and Myles Smith (New York, N.Y.) joined their family and friends down on the field for a short ceremony. 

Small scored a goal during the game and dished out a pair of assists. Kelleher tallied an assist and Fantoni and Bull combined for five ground balls and two caused turnovers.

Bates is back in action Wednesday when the Bobcats host Colby at 4pm.