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Men's lacrosse just shy of visiting Ephs, 10-7

Adam Scharff '12 had another solid game in net for Bates with 11 saves and seven ground balls.

LEWISTON, Maine -- Williams College took the lead in the second quarter and maintained a slim advantage the rest of the way, defeating the Bates College men's lacrosse team 10-7 in a NESCAC contest Saturday at Campus Avenue Field.

The Ephs, ranked No. 8 in New England by the NEILA, move to 2-0, while Bates, ranked 10th in New England, drops to 3-2 overall and 0-2 in NESCAC play.

As was the case in the Bobcats' loss to Middlebury a week beforehand, a significant difference in the game seemed to be in shooting accuracy and finishing off offensive plays. Bates outshot Williams by a 46-32 margin, had a 42-29 edge in ground balls and won 11 of 20 faceoffs. But the Ephs had a 21-19 advantage in shots on goal and converted 3-of-7 extra-man opportunities, including their first three opportunities, while Bates couldn't convert on six man-up chances.

Junior Luke Charest (Freeport, Maine) scored a pair of goals to lead the Bobcat offense. Senior David Barrett (Chatham, N.J.), senior Nick Sampson (Yarmouth, Maine), junior Rory Cosgrove (Pittsburgh, Pa.), first-year Torben Noto (Portland, Ore.) and first-year Charlie Clark (Pepper Pike, Ohio) all added goals, the first career tallies for the latter two players. Sophomore goalie Adam Scharff (Glyndon, Md.) made 11 saves with a team-high seven ground balls. Junior Cody Newman (Montclair, N.J.) won 9-of-18 faceoffs and had six ground balls, and senior Michael Nadler (Northborough, Mass.) also had six ground balls.

Matt Cranshaw led the Ephs in scoring with two goals and two assists, while Sam Hargrove, Michael Acierno and Tim Goggins all added two goals apiece. Williams goalkeeper Stephen Vrla made 12 saves. Corey Jacobs had a game-high eight ground balls and Andrew D'Ambrosio caused four Bates turnovers.

Bates got on top first when Sampson scored his team-high 10th goal in the game's third minute. Williams took advantage of a pushing call against Bates, as Cranshaw fed Mike Ryan to tie it up 1-1 with 10:04 left in the first. Ryan assisted Tim Goggins at the 8:26 mark to put the Ephs on top 2-1. But Bates tied it up at 2-2 by the end of the quarter, as Barrett scored unassisted to tie Sampson for the team goals lead with 10.

Another pushing call went against Bates with 12 seconds to go in the quarter, and Williams scored its second man-up goal 10 seconds into the second quarter and Richard Reuter assisted Michael Grover. A third straight 30-second pushing penalty against Bates with 12:13 to go in the second was converted again by the Ephs, as Cranshaw hit Hargrove to make it 4-2 with 11:46 left in the second.

Charest cut the lead to 4-3 before halftime when he caught a missed wide shot by first-year Rob Highland (Yarmouth, Maine) and quickly tucked it past Vrla with 3:15 left in the half.

Williams opened up its biggest lead of the game over the first five minutes of the third period, as the Ephs rallied for three unanswered goals, two by Acierno sandwiching an unassisted tally by Cranshaw.

Down 7-3 in the waning minutes of the third quarter, Bates went on a run of its own, scoring three times in a 64-second span to close it to 7-6. With 3:30 left Cosgrove wound up and connected on an outside shot. Clark, a defender, made it 7-5 55 seconds later on a one-man rush up the field. Newman won the ensuing faceoff and passed off to longstickman Noto, who bounced in a shot to make it 7-6 with 2:26 left in the third.

But Williams stemmed the Bobcats' momentum in the final minute of the quarter. Bates defender Nadler attempted a shot after a one-man rush of his own, saved by Vrla. The Ephs put on a counter-attack and Goggins finished it on a feed from Hargrove to bump the lead to 8-6 with 36 seconds left.

Williams pushed the lead back to three at 9-6 after a Bates turnover led to an unassisted goal by Hargrove. Bates missed six straight shots over the next eight minutes plus, and the Ephs increased the lead to 10-6 shortly after calling a timeout, with Cranshaw scoring unassisted.

Charest closed the gap to 10-7 with 2:29 left in the game as he snuck up from his spot behind the Williams goal and surprised Vrla for a goal.

The Bobcats next play a NESCAC game at Wesleyan University next Saturday, March 27 at 2 p.m.

Stats and Play by Play: Williams 10, Bates 7