No. 14 men’s lacrosse tripped up in NESCAC quarterfinal at No. 6 Amherst

Otis Klingbeil had three goals and an assist, but the No. 5 seed in the NESCAC tournament and No. 14 in the nation Bates men's lacrosse team was tripped up 23-9 in its NESCAC tournament quarterfinal at No. 4 seed and No. 6 in the nation Amherst on April 27, 2019. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

AMHERST, Mass.—The No. 4 seed in the NESCAC tournament and nationally-ranked No. 6 Amherst College men's lacrosse team topped No. 5 seed and No. 14 in the nation Bates College 23-9 today in a NESCAC quarterfinal played on the Mammoth's Pratt Field.

The Bobcats fall to 10-5 overall, while Amherst improves to 14-2 this season. The Mammoths advance to the NESCAC semifinals which will be played on Saturday, May 4.

Bates and Amherst met for the second time this week, but the Mammoths came out on top for the second time. Amherst led 5-3 at the end of the first quarter and never relinquished the lead from there. The Mammoths out-scored Bates 8-2 in the second quarter to build a 13-5 halftime lead, and the Bobcats were unable to battle back.

Colin Minicus led Amherst with seven points on two goals and five assists. Matt Solberg and Evan Wolf each added five goals and an assist. Jon Coffey chipped in two goals and an assist. Dylan Finazzo and Juan Gonzalez each grabbed a game-high eight ground balls. Finazzo won 12 of the 15 faceoffs he took, while Gonzalez won 15-of-20 tries. Tamer Sullivan caused three turnovers for the Mammoths. Gib Versfeld played all 60 minutes in goal for Amherst and made 20 saves.  

Junior Matt Chlastawa (Westfield, Mass.) led Bates with three goals and three assists, and broke Bates' 24-year-old career points record along the way. The former record of 269 was set by Shane Kokoruda in 1995; Chlastawa is now up to 274 career points.

Junior Otis Klingbeil (Powell, Ohio) contributed three goals and an assist. Junior Brendan Mullally (Baltimore, Md.) and sophomore Jack Scribner (Falmouth, Maine) each added a goal and an assist. Senior Eli Cooper (Glastonbury, Conn.) and senior Stephen Bull (Baltimore, Md.) shared a team-high with six ground balls apiece. Cooper went 8-for-29 at the faceoff X. Scribner, senior Rocco Fantoni (Hauppage, N.Y.) and Chlastawa each logged two caused turnovers. Junior Rob Strain (Montclair, N.J.) played all 60 minutes in goal for the Bobcats and finished with 19 saves, two shy of his season high.

Senior Andrew Small (Deerfield, Ill.) scored first for Bates 1:15 in off an assist from Chlastawa. Amherst responded with three straight goals. Just 1:15 later, James Crovatta tied the game up at 1-1 off a feed from Chase Yager. With 10:06 on the clock, Minicus gave the Mammoths their first lead, and Wolf followed with a goal at 9:37 to make it 3-1. Back-to-back goals from Bates knotted things up at 3-3 with 8:08 left in the first. Chlastawa scored his first of the game followed by a man-up goal by Mullally. Chlastawa earned an assist on the play. Amherst logged two more goals both by Matt Solberg, the second on a man-up opportunity, to close out the first quarter with a 5-3 advantage.

Just 16 seconds into the second quarter, Klingbeil scored on a man-up chance for Bates to get the Bobcats within one. The Mammoths then took over the momentum going on a six-goal run to build an 11-4 lead. The run featured two man-up goals, and Wolf led the way with two goals and an assist. With 4:18 left in the second quarter, Chlastawa scored his second goal of the day off an assist from first-year Dillon McManus (Dix Hills, N.Y.) to make it 11-5, but Amherst closed out the quarter with goals from Wolf and Jack Norton for a 13-5 lead.

The Mammoths opened the third quarter with goals by Solberg and Minicus. Chlastawa tallied his third goal of the afternoon off an assist from Mullally, and Klingbeil scored off a pass from Scribner to make the score 15-7 with 7:01 left in the third. Amherst put together a three-goal run to close out the third quarter for an 18-7 advantage.

Luke Mallette and Solberg opened the fourth quarter with two more goals for the Mammoths. Klingbeil earned his hat trick off a feed from junior Curtis Knapton (Westbrook, Maine), and then Klingbeil set up Scribner with 11:32 remaining to make the score 20-9. The Mammoths closed out the game with goals from Jon Coffey, Jack Wolff and Gonzalez.

Amherst held a 58-44 advantage in shots, a 61-34 lead in ground balls, and finished with a 27-8 advantage in faceoffs. Bates finished 2-for-6 on man-up opportunities, while the Amherst went 3-for-5.  The Bobcats were successful on 22-of-24 clear attempts, while the Mammoths finished 18-for-23 on clears.