LEWISTON, Maine -- The No. 14 nationally ranked Bates men's lacrosse team defeated rival Colby 14-12 in both teams' regular-season finale Wednesday at Garcelon Field, holding off Colby's run of four straight goals over the final 9:18 to pick up its 10th victory of the season.
Bates (10-4, 7-3 NESCAC) finishes fifth in the final New England Small College Athletic Conference standings. As the fifth seed in the upcoming NESCAC Championship tournament, the Bobcats will play at fourth-seeded Amherst in the conference quarterfinals Saturday at 3pm.
Colby (8-6, 4-6 NESCAC) finishes tied for sixth in the league with Middlebury. The Mules take the sixth seed and will play at third-seeded Williams Saturday at 1pm.
After nearly four minutes of scoreless lacrosse, the rivals combined for 11 goals in the first quarter of the game, as Bates built leads of 3-0 and 5-1 before the Mules ended the period with a 4-1 run. Sophomore Jack Scribner (Falmouth, Maine) got the scoring started with 11:10 to go, as he picked up a loose ball after an errant pass by the Mules in their defensive zone, and Scribner put away a low shot against defenseless Colby goalkeeper C.J. Layton for a 1-0 lead.
Junior Matt Chlastawa (Westfield, Mass.) scored at the 10:00 mark, senior Matt Kelleher (Newburyport, Mass.) added another unassisted goal with 8:08 to go. Colton Michel got Colby on the board with an outside rip running along the right wing. But Chlastawa answered with another unassisted tally with 6:12 left. Then Bates junior defender William Holland (Ridgewood, N.J.) stole the ball from a Mule near midfield and passed ahead to junior Otis Klingbeil (Powell, Ohio) for a 5-1 lead with 4:47 to go.
Colby's C.J. Hassan scored on an alert play with 2:53 left in the quarter, kicking off a key Mule run. Clearing the ball up the right sideline, Hassan noticed an untended goal and fired from two steps past the midfield line. Colby won the ensuing faceoff and Lane Kadish followed with another goal to close the gap to 5-3.
Junior Curtis Knapton (Westbrook, Maine) scored for Bates with 2:02 to go in the first. But the Mules scored a man-up goal with 45.1 seconds to go, taking advantage of a 30-second penalty on the Bobcats. Colby won the next faceoff and closed the gap to one goal with 7.3 seconds left, as Michel scored again.
Bates restored its lead to two goals with the first goal of the second quarter, as Chlastawa converted Scribner's cross over the Colby defense. With 1:39 left in the half, a nice fake and entry pass to an open Riley Bergstrom underneath closed Colby's deficit to 8-7 at intermission.
The Bobcats outshot the Mules 23-16 and outscored them 3-1 in the fast-paced third quarter, building the lead to 11-8. Knapton assisted Small with 8:00 to go in the quarter for Bates' lone extra-man goal. Knapton then scored on a Kelleher assist 40 seconds later. Michel tallied his third goal at the 2:34 mark, but regained a three-goal lead with 2:07 to go, as Scribner sent a diagonal cross pass from behind the right goal line extended to first-year defender Dylan Williams (Sharon, Mass.) for an outside rip.
Bates turned it into a 4-0 run with three more goals early in the fourth quarter, building a 14-8 lead. Klingbeil's wrap-around goal at 11:36 was followed at the 10:43 mark by an unassisted goal by senior Andrew Small (Deerfield, Ill.). Bates won the ensuing faceoff on a Colby violation, and with 9:52 left Chlastawa sent a short pass to an open Klingbeil on the doorstep, and Klingbeil didn't miss the chance for his third goal of the game.
Colby's Lane Kadish began pushing the Mules back into the game, however. He scored on a Hassan assist with 9:18 left, then added a spectacular goal with 7:36 to go, diving fully extended from the goal line over the crease and flipping the ball past Bates junior goalie Rob Strain (Montclair, N.J.).
Colby closed it to 14-11 with 3:29, taking advantage of the third of four one-minute penalties called against Bates in the final quarter, as Michel fed Jack Rickards for a goal shot from a tight angle on the right. With 2:29 to go in regulation, Colby's Will Dodge's takeaway led to a Mule clear and an unassisted score by Riley Bergstrom, making it a two-goal game again at 14-12.
Though Colby lost the final faceoff of the game, the Mules regained possession two more times over the final two minutes, but managed only one shot, a blocked attempt by Hassan.
Chlastawa, Knapton and Scribner finished with four points apiece to lead the Bobcats: Chlastawa and Knapton scored three goals apiece and Scribner passed out a career-high three assists. Klingbeil also scored three goals. Small tallied two goals, an assist and two caused turnovers and Kelleher contributed a goal and an assist. Senior defender Rocco Fantoni (Hauppage, N.Y.) totaled three caused turnovers and four ground balls.
For Colby, Bergstrom, Michel and Kadish all scored three times apiece, with Bergstrom and Michel adding assists. Hassan and Finn McNamara pitched in a goal and an assist apiece.
Strain made 15 saves and allowed 12 goals for Bates; Layton made 12 saves and allowed 14 goals for the Mules.