The third-year trio of Charlie Fay, Kyle Weber and Andrew Melvin paced the offense, and first-year Mitchell Drake stood tall in net for the Bobcats, who finished up their regular-season home schedule with an 11-7 victory over Connecticut College at Garcelon Field on Saturday.

Fay scored four goals — all after halftime — Weber added a hat trick, and Melvin did his usual distribution with three assists, along with a goal of his own. Drake, starting in place of senior goalie Joe Faria, made nine saves in net for the Bobcats (10-3, 6-3 in NESCAC), who are ranked No. 14 in the latest USILA Division III Coaches Poll.

“We love our seniors, and they’ve been pivotal to turning the culture of this team around,” Fay said. “We knew this was a must-win for us, just for getting into NESCAC playoffs and to show the seniors how much we care about them.”

Melvin got the scoring started for Bates, running in from behind the net for a jumping shot at the right post to tie the game up 1-1 just over three minutes in after a sloppy start for the Bobcats.

Senior Jack Allard and sophomore Burke Smith added goals for Bates, which didn’t let go of its 3-1 lead after one quarter.

The Camels (7-7, 3-6) cut the deficit to one twice, including on a two-men-up goal by Ross Thompson less than a minute into the second quarter. Weber made it 4-2 with an unassisted goal less than two minutes in, and that score stuck until halftime.

The first half was in stark contrast to the Bobcats’ previous game, when they beat two-time defending national champion Tufts 19-18 in double overtime. The Camels entered the game allowing the least goals per game in the conference, while scoring the second-lest.

“We realized Tuesday … was kind of the polar opposites as far as play style. They like to slow it down, make it a slower game,” Fay said of the Camels. “We knew we had to adapt to that and change up how we were playing and kind of buy into that, slow it down a little bit, wait for our shots and just stay patient.”

The adjustment worked for the Bobcats, who scored four goals in the third quarter — two each from Fay and Weber. Both of Fay’s goals were assisted by Melvin, with the 6-foot-2 Melvin finding the 6-foot-4 Fay in front of the crease from behind the net each time.

Bates scored two of those goals early in the third, then two more late. In between came three straight goals from the Camels, who cut the deficit to 6-5. After scoring just two goals in the first 36-plus minutes of the game, Connecticut College scored three in less than three minutes to make it close. Thompson, Derek Bertolini and Jordan Foster all found the back of the net.

The Camels, who average less than 11 goals per game, just didn’t have enough offense to keep pace with the Bobcats, who took control late in the third and never let go.

“There are a lot of different ways to win, and we’ve got to just stay patient and poised, which we did,” Bates coach Peter Lasagna said. “Made a nice little run in the third quarter and kept our wits about us for the most part.”

Fay opened the fourth quarter with the most highlight-worthy goal of the game. Receiving a pass from Allard, Fay flipped an underhand shot with his back to the goal that bounced past Camels goalie Bobby Bleistein. It was one of many creative goals that the Falmouth, Maine native has scored this season, giving credit to box lacrosse for his scoring versatility.

“Playing a lot with my dad and just having balls thrown at me on the crease and trying to find a way to get them in the net,” Fay said.

The Bobcats and Camels went back and forth scoring throughout the final period. Fay (from Melvin) scored midway through the quarter to answer a Foster goal, then after Bertolini cut the lead back to three Clarke Jones finished up the scoring.

Despite the reasonably comfortable final margin Lasagna said the win was anything but comfortable for the Bobcats.

“I would say there’s plenty (of frustration),” Lasagna said. “But part of what I share with our guys (is) … the best plan that they could have to try to beat us is doing what they did. I respect that.”

Lasagna said it’s a good sign that his team can win against a team that shoots seemingly every five seconds (Tufts), and against one that shoots what seems like once a quarter (Connecticut College).

Another good sign was the play of Drake, who has filled in admirably for Faria while the veteran netminder has gone in and out of the lineup with injuries.

“I thought he played great,” Lasagna said of Drake. “He looked like he saw the ball really well, I thought he was in command. I thought the defense did a great job around him as well.”

Faria played the final four minutes of the game and made one save. Lasagna said he wanted to make sure he got Faria into the game. The work by Drake and the Bobcat offense made getting Faria into the game a little easier.

“A very nice win on senior day, and a great tribute to these guys who have left a hell of an imprint on this program,” Lasagna said of his nine seniors. “For them to go out as winners in their last home game is just what we wanted.”

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