Cardinals Recover from 5-3 Deficit vs. Bates in Home Opener, but Fall in OT, 6-5
Bates scored on a low shot from 15 yards out with 1:26 left in sudden-victory overtime to claim a 6-5 victory in a NESCAC men's lacrosse matchup at Wesleyan Sat., March 17. It was the first conference win for Bates and the first NESCAC loss for Wesleyan on the season. Though Wesleyan holds a decided 20-11 edge in the overall series, Bates has had the better of it recently with a six wins in the last 11 meetings, including a 12-7 triumph in Lewiston, Me. last season.
Wesleyan committed two turnovers in overtime and the second one gave Bates the ball midway in its defensive end. A defender legged the ball over the midfield line and into Wesleyan territory before passing ahead and the low shot that followed found the net just inside the far post.
Bates held the largest lead of the game at 5-3 with 8:45 to go in the third period with a high shot from long range past Cardinal keeper Mark Simmons '14, who had entered the game at halftime and finished with four stops. Wesleyan got the next two, beginning at 5:52 of the third on a shot by John Froats '12 off a pass to the middle by Aidan Daniell '14 (#9, photo). Froats' shot hit the crossbar and trickled in off the back of Bates goalie.
Wesleyan tied the game with the only goal of the fourth period, that by Daniell on a bouncer from just on the right side after a pass from Joe Porcelli '14. That came at 12:04 and the teams went scoreless the rest of regulation. Bates had a shot that hit off the post with 1:22 left and Wesleyan got a final shot in the closing seconds by Max Landow '12 that was stopped by the goalie.
Bates won the faceoff in overtime as the Bobcast secured 12 of 15 faceoffs in the game. Bates then had two offensive possessions that resulted in saves by Simmons, only to have Wesleyan fail to clear twice on bad passes. Bates capitalized on its third possession. Wesleyan and Bates had played three previous overtime games, the last in 2007, with the Cardinals prevailing each time.
Daniell and Teddy Citrin '12 were the only Cardinals with multiple points as Daniell had a goal and an assist and Citrin dished off two assists.
In the first half, Wesleyan starter Grant Covington '12 had four saves in net. In total, two Bates netminders combined for 16 saves, 10 in the first half as Bates held a slim 3-2 edge at intermission.
Wesleyan has a midweek game upcoming at N.Y. Maritime Wed., March 21.