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Men's lacrosse pounces on Huskies for 21-9 win

George O'Connor '11 has scored six goals in the past two games.

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates College men's lacrosse team jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first 13 minutes of the game and cruised from there to a 21-9 non-conference victory over the University of Southern Maine on Tuesday at Campus Avenue Field, through a driving rain and winds gusting over 20 miles per hour.

The Bobcats (4-3) snapped a three-game skid and broke the Huskies' (2-3) two-game win streak in the process.

Four Bates players scored three goals or more, while junior Luke Charest (Freeport, Maine) dished out a career-high six assists. Senior Nick Sampson (Yarmouth, Maine) and junior George O'Connor (Loudonville, N.Y.) led Bates scorers with four goals and one assist apiece, while sophomore Jason Hichborn (Yarmouth, Maine) and first-year Gary Guinta (Bay Shore, N.Y.) scored three goals apiece, with Hichborn also notching an assist. Sampson also led the Bobcats in ground balls with seven.

Huskies junior Tim Bryant (Peterborough, N.H.) scored three goals and dished out three assists, while first-year Mark White (Oakville, Ontario) also netted three goals. Sophomore Willie Joy (Portland, Maine) scored two goals with one assist, scooped a team-high seven ground balls and won 10 of 17 faceoffs for Southern Maine.

Sampson scored all four of his goals in the first nine minutes of the game; his fourth of the game, and team-leading 15th of the season, came on one of first-year Dan Hines' (Manchester, Mass.) two assists in the game, putting Bates ahead 7-0 with 5:54 left to play in the first quarter. Hichborn made it 8-0, and Guinta added two straight goals, both on Charest assists, to make it 10-0 with 2:26 left in the period.

Southern Maine answered with a man-down goal seconds later following a personal foul called on the Huskies, as Joy fed Bryant to make it 10-1 with 2:06 left in the period. But Guinta made it a hat trick before the quarter was out, with a man-up goal assisted by Hichborn for an 11-1 lead after one period. The Bobcats took 22 shots in the period to USM's five and controlled 20 of 31 ground balls.

USM opened the second quarter by cutting the lead to 11-2 in the first minute, with White scoring on a Bryant assist. But the Bobcats answered with three straight scores -- two in a row by O'Connor, followed by a tally by first-year C.J. Schmidt (Franktown, Colo.) -- to put Bates on top 14-2 with 9:18 still to play in the second quarter. Huskies coach Malcolm Chase called timeout and challenged his team to compete harder, and the Huskies responded by outscoring the Bobcats 2-0 over the next 8:34, with a Joy goal at the 1:33 mark closing the gap to 14-4. With 44 seconds left in the half, Bates junior Cody Newman (Montclair, N.J.) netted his first goal of the season after Charest's ground ball and assist for a 15-4 lead at the break, at which time the rain and wind was at its heaviest of the evening.

The Huskies played the Bobcats much more evenly in the second half, cutting down on turnovers (26 in the first half, 15 in the second) and getting outscored by a 6-5 margin and outshot by an 18-16 difference.

Bates got out to a 13-goal lead on Hichborn's eighth goal of the year, scored with 37 seconds left in the third quarter tomake it 19-6. Joy answered with a goal off the ensuing faceoff to close it to 19-7. The Bobcats scored two straight in the fourth quarter for a game-high 14-goal lead at 21-7, as Hines fed first-year T.J. Crutchfield (Concord, N.H.) for his first career goal with 8:50 left. USM finished out th egame with a pair of goals, one by sophomore Dan Thomas (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and another by Bryant.

Sophomore Adam Scharff (Glyndon, Md.) started in goal for Bates and made seven saves. He was relieved by first-year Alex Henrie (Lexington, Mass.) at halftime and the rookie made five saves before first-year Josh Levitt (Brooklyn, N.Y.) played the final 6:14 of the game. For USM, sophomore Kyle Dussault (Lewiston, Maine) started in net and made five saves. First-year Jacob Groom (Cumberland, Maine) played the final 39:18 of the game and registered three saves.

Bates plays host to Amherst in a NESCAC game on Saturday at 1 p.m. The game can be heard online via Live Audio Webcast.

Stats and Play by Play: Bates 21, Southern Maine 9