Cardinals Fall Short in NESCAC Thriller to No. 8 Bates, 12-11

Photo by Jonas Powell '18
Photo by Jonas Powell '18

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Trailing by two with only 5:52 remaining in regulation, the Wesleyan University men's lacrosse team rallied to force overtime, but a score by Jack Allard with :04 on the clock lifted the No. 8 Bates College Bobcats to a 12-11 win in a thrilling NESCAC matchup Saturday afternoon at Citrin Field.

RECORDS
Wesleyan: 0-1, 0-1 NESCAC
Bates: 3-0, 1-0 NESCAC

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • The Cardinals, in their 2016 season opener, took an early 2-0 advantage, and eventually pulled ahead 5-2 in the second quarter – their largest lead of the game. However, Bates retaliated and pulled ahead 6-5 at the break.
  • Wesleyan trailed by two, twice in the fourth quarter, but responded to force overtime. Despite several good looks, the Cardinals were unable to find the back of the net and Bates took advantage when they regained possession.
  • Saturday's game went back-and-forth throughout, and featured six lead changes and six ties.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • Niall Devaney '16 and Quentin DellaFera '16 led Wesleyan with three and two goals, respectively, while Christian Barker '19 tallied three assists and a goal in his first collegiate game of his career. Jared Jacobs '16 grabbed a game-high seven groundballs, and Ted Bergman '17 was impressive in net as he registered 20 saves. The Cardinals as a team took 47 shots (31 on goal), grabbed 31 groundballs and caused six turnovers.
  • Five different players scored more than one goal for the Bobcats, who were led by Kyle Weber's three. Max Breschi and Allard added two, and five groundballs, while Joe Faria posted a stellar performance in goal with 20 saves as well. Bates took 41 shots (32 on goal), registered 38 groundballs and caused five turnovers.

FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS

  • It took only 1:15 for Wesleyan to get on the board in their first game of the year as
  • Devaney increased the Cardinals' lead just two minutes later off a feed from Christian Barker '19.
  • However, back-to-back goals from Weber and Breschi knotted the game at 2-2 after the first.
  • The second period featured seven total goals. Wesleyan scored the first three of the frame from Carter Hawthorne '19, Taylor Ghesquiere '18 and Barker, respectively, including an impressive one-handed shot from Ghesquiere over his defender and into the top right post.
  • Bates, trailing by three (5-2), responded with four consecutive scores within 6:48 of action. Breschi's tally at the :56 mark gave the visitor's a 6-5 halftime lead.

SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS

  • Wesleyan came out hot to start the second as DellaFera evened the score at the 11:33 mark of the third quarter, and put Wesleyan back on top under a minute later.
  • After an unassisted goal by Clarke Jones tied the game at 8-8, DellaFera found Jackson Arnold '16 for another Wesleyan goal with just :04 to play before the fourth.
  • The Bobcats scored three of the first four goals of the final period and held a two-goal lead, twice.
  • Wesleyan did not back down, however, and a man-up goal from Lyle Mitchell '16 at the 2:26 mark cut the deficit to one before Devaney sent the game into overtime with :51 to play.
  • The Cardinals kept the pressure on Bates in the closing seconds but were unable to place a shot on goal.

OVERTIME HIGHLIGHTS

  • Much like the end of the fourth, Wesleyan applied heavy offensive pressure early, but were unable to find the back of the net after five shot attempts.
  • Bates regained possession halfway through overtime and took advantage of a Wesleyan penalty as Charlie Fay found Jack Allard for the game-winner with just :04 left on the clock.

UP NEXT

  • Wesleyan is back in action Wednesday, March 9 and will host non-conference foe Roger Williams at 2 p.m.
  • The Bobcats return to the field tomorrow, March 6 and will play at University of New England. The game is scheduled to start at 2 p.m.