Parker Strong of Bates College celebrates his first half goal to bring the Bobcats within one against Connecticut College in Lewiston on Saturday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

LEWISTON — As victories go, they don’t come much sweeter or timelier than Bates’ 11-10 overtime win over Connecticut College on Senior Day Saturday at Garcelon Field.

Andrew Small scored the game-winner 52 seconds into sudden death overtime, which the Bobcats forced with two Clarke Jones goals in the final 2:58 of regulation.

“We have a really complete team,” said Small, a junior midfielder. “When one place isn’t doing its part, the next picks them up. It’s a real family, a real team in every sense of it.”

Jones, a senior who secured possession for Small’s winner by scooping up the ground ball off of the OT-opening faceoff, led the  Bobcats with five goals. Small finished with two goals, while Matt Chlastawa tallied a goal and seven assists.

After Chlastawa connected with Jones to tie it with 1:43 left, the Bobcats had four shots to win it in regulation, including one from Jones that found pipe. They only needed one shot in OT, though, as Small collected Chlastawa’s long cross on the left wing, deked a defender while charging the net and fired past goalie Jameson Hill.

“That was the look they were giving the whole game. Just kept working and I tagged the shorties and tried to get a good look and put it in the net,” Small said.

Coming off of a crushing, last-second 14-13 loss at home to Bowdoin on Wednesday, Bates (7-5, 3-4 NESCAC) desperately needed a conference win not only to boost morale before its 10-day break for course finals, but to close the gap on the Camels (8-3, 4-3) and others when they resume action for the final three games of the regular season on April 17.

Bates struggled with faceoffs in Wednesday’s loss, and Sam Carlin delivered the dagger winner for Bowdoin right after winning his 23rd faceoff of that game.

Connecticut College senior Ben Parens is an All-American because of his dominance on faceoffs. And the Camels’ slowdown game meant Bates scorers had little choice but to watch for some prolonged stretches.

“They have probably the best face-off guy in Division III, so we knew they were getting the ball back,” said Jones, who leads Bates with 40 goals. “Yeah, it’s frustrating when you don’t have the ball, but stay patient and trust our defense.”

Parens won 12 of 13 faceoffs in the first half and the Camels scored four in a row to open a 5-2 lead at the end of the first quarter. But Bates stayed patient against their zone defense, moved the ball crisply and clawed back to tie it, 5-5, on goals by Small, Parker Strong and Curtis Knapton.

“The whole key to the zone is not any different in basketball than it is in lacrosse — overload, overload, overload, reverse, and pick good spots and cut in good spots,” Bates coach Peter Lasagna said. “We had some really nice cutting goals.”

Maxx Trotsky (team-leading four goals, one assist) put Connecticut College back in front before halftime, then he and Parens scored within seven seconds of each other early in the third quarter to make it 8-5.

The Bobcats rallied again, this time with Jones, Chlastawa and Brendan Mullally’s man-up goal making it 8-8 early in the fourth.

They remained knotted for over six minutes before Charlie Bernicke gave the Camels the lead for the third time with 6:28 left. Trotsky added an insurance goal 50 seconds later.

Bates’ defense kept goalie Rob Strain (seven saves) relatively undisturbed the rest of the way. The Bobcats also did a better job of perplexing Parens in the second half, mixing first-year Chris Costello and sophomore Jack Walsh into faceoffs with junior regular Eli Cooper. They combined to win 6-of-12 in the second half and overtime, including three in a row by Cooper to end the game.

“We got critical stops when we needed them,” Lasagna said. “I thought the three-headed beast that we threw at them, facing off, even though we weren’t winning every one of them, it was three different looks. Jack Walsh got one on the first one he got in, which is huge coming off the bench cold.”

Jones and Chlastawa got hot at the right time for Bates, connecting for the two goals that tied the game. The one that pulled them within 10-9 was the result of Jones seemingly getting a shot off in the middle of spinning off a hit in front of the crease.

“Matt Chlastawa was out on the wing and they went to double him,” Jones said,”so I tried to sneak (around the net). He gave it to me and I saw a defender coming a little out of control. I tried to inside-roll him, and luckily it worked out. We kept ourselves alive there.”

“I’m clearly biased, but I don’t know how many better players there are in any division,” Lasagna said, noting the big ground ball Jones won in overtime. “He just makes big plays.”

The Bobcats, who beat Western New England in their only other overtime this season, host unbeaten Tufts in their final home game on April 17, then finish the regular season at Amherst and Colby.

Women’s lacrosse

Bates 10, Connecticut College 7

NEW LONDON, Conn. — The Bates women scored five of the final six goals to deny Connecticut College its first NESCAC win while picking up its second, 10-7, on Saturday.

Katie Allard notched a hat trick and Summer Dias tallied two goals and one assist for the Bobcats (7-5, 2-5 NESCAC). Eliza Statile was outstanding in net, making 12 saves and helping to limit the  Camels to one goal in nine free position attempts.

Connecticut College never trailed for the game’s first 45 minutes. Bates rallied from a pair of two-goal deficits to tie it, then overcame a 6-5 deficit with the game-ending run.

Jamie Navoni had had three goals for the Camels (3-8, 0-7).

Eli Cooper, right, of Bates College and Ben Parens of Connecticut College compete for the ball during the first half in Lewiston on Saturday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Clarke Jones of Bates College spins towards the goal on his way to a first period goal that put the Bobcats up 1-0 against Connecticut College in Lewiston on Saturday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.