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Top-Seeded Wesleyan Cruises Past No. 8 Bates in NESCAC Quarterfinals, 16-11

Photo by Steve McLaughlin
Photo by Steve McLaughlin

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The top-seeded and nationally-ranked No. 6 Wesleyan University men's lacrosse team scored seven goals in the first quarter and never looked back, as it defeated eighth-seeded Bates College, 16-11, in NESCAC Quarterfinal action Saturday afternoon at Jackson Field.

The Cardinals (13-2) return to the semifinals for the fourth time in the past six seasons as Cole Turpin '18 and Ronan Jacoby '21 scored four goals apiece. Wesleyan—the defending NESCAC champions—will host the conference semifinals and final next Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6. The Bobcats (8-8) were led by Clarke Jones and Matt Chlastawa with seven and five points, respectively.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The Cardinals came out hot to start the game and took a 1-0 lead just 46 seconds into play as Turpin connected with Harry Stanton '18. Less than three minutes later, Turpin scored his first of the game to increase the home team's lead to two.
  • Max Breschi cut the deficit to one with 10:42 on the clock, but it would be the closest Bates would get the rest of the way as Wesleyan rallied with four unanswered goals—two each from Jacoby and Turpin—to take a 6-1 lead with 1:50 left in the first.
  • Jones ended the Cardinals' run at the 1:11 mark but Taylor Ghesquiere '18 answered just under a minute later to give the home team a 7-2 advantage entering the second quarter.
  • The Bobcats answered with a run of their own early in the second as Chlastawa and Jones scored 31 seconds apart, and Jack Scribner tallied another to get within two at the 11:03 mark.
  • However, Wesleyan held Bates scoreless the rest of the half while scoring three more goals. With 2:25 on the clock, Ben Shively '18 found the back of the net to give the home team a commanding 10-5 halftime lead.
  • Wesleyan continued to increase its lead in the third quarter as Jacoby and Stanton scored the first two goals of the half at the 13:43 and 10:35 marks, respectively, to go ahead by seven.
  • After a goal by Jones ended a 5-0 Cardinal run, Carter Hawthorne '19 scored back-to-back to give Wesleyan a 14-6 lead with 4:52 to play. The Bobcats won the ensuing faceoff and scored just nine seconds later. Neither team scored the rest of the quarter as they trailed by seven entering the fourth.
  • Bates scored the first three goals of the fourth quarter and got within four with 6:13 remaining on the clock, but Wesleyan outscored the Bobcats 2-1 down the stretch to put the game away and seal the victory.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • In addition to their four goals, Turpin also assisted on two while Jacoby recorded one assist and five ground balls. Christian Barker '19 led all players with four assists while also scoring once, Hawthorne scored three times and registered two assists, and Stanton scored twice and assisted twice.
  • Zach Zavalick '20 was impressive on faceoffs, winning 15-of-17, while also securing a game-high 11 ground balls. Andres Rodriguez '18 led the Cardinals defensively with three caused turnovers while goalie Otto Bohan stopped 7-of-16 shots.
  • Matt Kelleher also scored a goal for Bates while Eli Cooper led the team with four ground balls and Rocco Fantoni caused three turnovers.
  • Wesleyan held a commanding 54-21 lead in ground balls and outshot the Bobcats, 46-26.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:

  • Wesleyan swept Bates this season as the Cardinals also claimed a 13-11 win on March 10 on Citrin Field. They are now 25-15 against their rivals and have won three in a row.
  • Saturday's win extended Wesleyan's home winning streak to 21 games dating back to 2016.
  • The Cardinals have also won five-straight overall.

UP NEXT:

  • Wesleyan awaits the outcome of the Tufts/Middlebury and Amherst/Bowdoin games to determine its opponent for next Saturday, May 5.