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Men's lacrosse routs Nor'easters, 18-3

Nick Sampson '10 scored a career-high five goals for Bates.

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates College men's lacrosse team is off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 2006, after manhandling the visiting Nor'easters of the University of New England on Tuesday night by an 18-3 score.

Bates (3-0), ranked No. 10 in this week's season-opening NEILA coaches' New England Division III poll, received five goals from senior captain Nick Sampson (Yarmouth, Maine) and two goals and two assists from senior captain David Barrett (Chatham, N.J.), while junior faceoff specialist Cody Newman (Montclair, N.J.) won 15 of 17 faceoffs and collected 14 ground balls.

UNE first-year Tyler Thomas (Pleasantville, N.Y.) figured in all three of the Nor'easters' (1-2) goals, scoring twice and assisting on the other. Junior Luke DiFiore (Gloucester, Mass.) added a goal and an assist.

Bates dominated faceoffs 19-6 and outshot UNE 49-22. The game featured a large amount of turnovers and loose balls, resulting in a 68-41 advantage in ground balls for the Bobcats. Bates was successful on 29 of 39 clear attempts, while UNE struggled for a success rate of 12 of 28, including 7 of 21 over the first three quarters.

The first quarter indicated anything but a blowout. Bates got on the scoreboard first thanks to a pair of freshmen, as Rob Highland (Yarmouth, Maine) fed Gary Guinta (Bay Shore, N.Y.) for a goal in the first minute of the game. Tyler Thomas evened the score at 1-1 in the sixth minute on a man-up goal, assisted by DiFiore. Bates regrouped for a 2-1 lead less than a minute later when Barrett passed to Highland, who rifled an outside shot past UNE sophomore goalie Nate Porter (Cohasset, Mass.). But the Nor'easters evened the score again with 4:24 to play in the quarter as Dylan Thomas fed Tyler Thomas, who scored past Bates sophomore goalie Adam Scharff (Glyndon, Md.) in traffic.

Bates went ahead for good with 2:52 left in the first as sophomore Mike Antoniou (Cumberland, Maine) found the goal for his second score of the season, assisted by junior Rory Cosgrove (Pittsburgh, Pa.). With the clock winding down on the first period, junior Evan Bagley (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) connected with sophomore Jason Hichborn (Yarmouth, Maine) for a deflating goal with 1.1 seconds left, putting the Bobcats on top 4-2.

The Bobcats extended the lead to 8-2 at halftime with four more unanswered goals, one apiece by first-year Dan Hines (Manchester, Mass.), Sampson, Barrett and sophomore Reed Brown (Portsmouth, N.H.). They made it eight goals in a row early in the third quarter, as Barrett assisted on a goal by Guinta in the opening minute, then fired in an unassisted tally in the second minute of the period for a 10-2 lead.

UNE took advantage of a Bates delay-of-game penalty, served by Scharff, with 12:17 to go in the third, as Tyler Thomas assisted DiFiore on a goal past Bates first-year goalie Alex Henrie (Lexington, Mass.) 11 seconds into the power play. But the Bobcats answered resoundingly, scoring six goals in the next seven minutes to put the game well out of reach at 16-3. A mostly uneventful fourth quarter included two more Bobcat goals, a man-up goal scored by Sampson and an unassisted tally by sophomore defenseman Neil O'Connor (Duxbury, Mass.), who collected a ground ball in the Bates zone, cleared the ball by himself and finished off the coast-to-coast play to make it 18-3 with 2:27 to play.

Tallying multiple points for the Bobcats, in addition to Sampson and Barrett, were Guinta (3 goals), Highland (2 goals, 1 assist), Hichborn (2 goals, 1 assist) and Bagley (2 assists).

Porter made 16 saves and scooped a team-high seven ground balls for UNE, while Scharff made nine saves for Bates. Senior captain Michael Nadler (Northborough, Mass.) collected eight ground balls for the Bobcats.

Bates hosts Middlebury on Saturday at 1 p.m. in its first NESCAC game of the season. The game can be followed online via Live Stats and a live audio Webcast.

Stats and Play by Play: Bates 18, UNE 3